Damar Hamlin has shown support for his team amid his healing process.
The road to full recovery has been slow yet impressive for the Buffalo Bills safety, who threw his teammates and fans into a panic after suffering a cardiac arrest and collapsing during a game almost one month ago. Since then, he has been confined to the walls of the Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.
Thus, when he got a chance to return to the public, his first point of call was for the playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The teams’ game was already underway before Hamlin’s collapse, resulting in it getting postponed by the NFL.
Damar Hamlin’s Presence Is No Good Luck Charm For His Buffalo Bills Teammates
Hamlin’s remarkable recovery was apparent for all to see as he arrived on the Western New York field just before the playoff began. His presence was such a welcome development that he was treated as the special guest of honor by the Bills.
In footage released ahead of the game, the 24-year-old is seen arriving at Buffalo’s facilities, driven by security to the team’s dressing room. Hamlin kept his head down, dark sunglasses on, and his hood up as he hurriedly moved from the security cart into the locker room.
His mother, Nina, and younger brother, Damir, were not far behind as they joined him in the locker room, sporting their number 3 jerseys. Although Hamlin was not out on the field, his presence in the stadium could not be missed thanks to fans — known as the “Bills Mafia” — holding up “welcome” signs.
The injured safety seemed to enjoy the show from a luxury hotel suite on Highmark Stadium. Another clip from ESPN highlighted him and his family within the room through heavy sleet of snow before showing a fan holding up the sign, “Where else would you rather be…do it for #3.”
“Thats is beautiful the cheers and happiness. What a team player, watching the game. Love hamlin,” one person replied under the tweet. A second fan added, “Yes. So good to see him all through that snow,” and a third tweeted:
“Me personally, if I was a player on the Bills team and I knew Damar was there watching, I would be inspired to win this game or trying to put my foot in the Bengals behinds. That’s just me.”
Unfortunately, Hamlin’s teammates were not inspired to win the game, losing to the Bengals despite their home advantage and his presence. According to CNN, Joe Burrow’s touchdown passes gave the Bengals an early 14-0 lead. Cincinnati had a 17-7 lead by halftime, comfortably maintaining the advantage by a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter.
With the Bills falling to the Bengals 27-10, the latter are billed to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship game. The Bengals will be hosted by The Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, January 29, with kickoff slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.
The University Of Pittsburgh Alum Still Has A Tough Road Amid His Recovery
Even though he only spent nine days in two hospitals, The Blast noted that Hamlin still had a long way to go regarding his recovery. Sharing details of his continued progress, his longtime friend, Jordan Rooney, disclosed that the athlete “still required oxygen” along with regular hospital visits to monitor his heart.
The visits would help his easy loss of breath, which Rooney mentioned when he said, “He has visited with the team a few times, but he still gets winded very easily.” Hamlin’s business partner also stated that his friend was maintaining his “upbeat and positive” attitude during this period and was more than determined to “continue to overcome this.”
Other people who boasted of the football player’s health were his teammate Dion Dawkins and coach Sean McDermott. After the Bills coach updated press conference attendees that Hamlin was at the team’s facility almost every day, Dawkins added:
“His appearance, like walking around here, it’s a positive thing, and [it’s nice] to see Three [Hamlin’s jersey number] just smile and just wave and just put his hearts up and keep it pushing.”
The Bills’ offensive tackle further referred to his recovering teammate as “a positive energy bubble that’s just floating around the facility.”