Just a few weeks after he suffered a medical emergency on the field during Monday Night Football, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin got to be back with his teammates on Sunday when they faced the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs.
At least, it appeared that way.
Hamlin took in the game from a suite, but didn’t show his face. He donned a red hoodie with a pair of sunglasses — as well as a mask — during the matchup, and that led to speculation across social media that the NFL used a clone of Hamlin instead.
He shot that down quickly on his Twitter page.
Hamlin’s journey of the last month has been nothing short of inspiring. On Jan. 2, he collapsed on the field as the Bills took on the Bengals and required CPR before heading to the hospital. Doctors later confirmed he suffered cardiac arrest, and he remained sedated for a few days until his levels got under control.
He awoke three days later and started communicating by writing until he had his tube removed. That happened the next day when he met with the Bills via FaceTime — just four days after they saw him getting CPR on the field.
That’s what made it even more amazing Hamlin returned to Highmark Stadium for Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round between the Bills and Bengals, the same matchup that wound up getting suspended three weeks earlier after his cardiac arrest. However, it didn’t go Buffalo’s way this time around.
Bills fall to Bengals in playoffs, Stefon Diggs sounds off
Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow put on a clinic, throwing for 242 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Bengals to the 27-10 victory. It marks the second consecutive season the Bills lost in the divisional round after last year’s thriller against the Kansas City Chiefs, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs made his thoughts abundantly clear afterward.
Diggs finished the game with just four receptions — two of which came in the fourth quarter — on 10 targets for 35 yards. He expressed his frustration on the sideline and, later, took to Twitter to sound off.
“Want me to be okay with losing? Nah,” Diggs tweeted. “Want me to be okay with our level of play when it’s not up to the standard? Nah. It’s easy to criticize my reaction more than the result.”
That adds to the intrigue of this offseason in Buffalo, especially since Diggs stormed out of the locker room with his stuff before some of the Bills’ coaching staff had even made it back down the tunnel.