HomeSportsNFLBuffalo Bills Honor Damar Hamlin in First Game Since Cardiac Arrest

Buffalo Bills Honor Damar Hamlin in First Game Since Cardiac Arrest

by Caitlin Berard
Buffalo Bills Honor Damar Hamlin
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

On January 2, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed mid-game against the Cincinnati Bengals. To the horror of fans and fellow NFL players, Hamlin’s heart had stopped. Thankfully, however, coaches and first responders were on the scene instantly, performing life-saving maneuvers that ultimately brought Hamlin back from the brink.

After days in the hospital, Damar Hamlin awoke, first asking if the Bills had beaten the Bengals and then sharing a heartfelt message with his teammates via FaceTime. Now, the Bills are paying homage to their beloved safety as he continues on the road to recovery.

In today’s game against the New England Patriots in New York, the Bills took the field “For Damar,” carrying “Pray for Damar” flags as they made their entrance in Highmark Stadium.

And the Bills’ heartwarming entrance was just the start of the festivities. In addition, Bills members are wearing “3” hats on the sidelines, and the pregame shirts read “Love for Damar 3.”

Ahead of the game, a moment of support was shared for Damar Hamlin, along with an appreciation for first responders and medical caregivers. Last but not least, the outline of the “3” in each 30-yard line number on the field isn’t white but Buffalo Bills Red or Blue.

Damar Hamlin Remains in Good Spirits Amid Absence From Patriots Game

According to Brandon Beane, General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, this week is meant as a “celebration of life” for Damar Hamlin. And, of course, Hamlin is soaking up every moment from his hospital bed in Cincinnati.

“GameDay..” he wrote in a Twitter post. “Nothing I want more than to be running out that tunnel with my brothers. God using me in a different way today. Tell someone you love them today! Let’s go Buffalo Bills!”

Damar Hamlin is no doubt pining for the field. Bills coach Sean McDermott, however, says that his safety remains in good spirits. “He’s amazing. His spirit is so positive. He’s gonna be locked in,” McDermott said. “We’ll be thinking of him for sure.”

Based on Hamlin’s own recent social media posts, it couldn’t be clearer that this is the truth. “When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much. The Love has been overwhelming,” Hamlin wrote on Instagram. “But I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We brung the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”

And as if the day wasn’t magical enough, the Buffalo Bills were so overjoyed by the recovery of Damar Hamlin that they returned the opening kickoff of the game against the Patriots for a touchdown. An already emotional Orchard Park crowd positively erupted at the sight, sharing hugs as tears and head coach Sean McDermott and quarterback Josh Allen celebrated on the sideline.