When Damar Hamlin collapsed at Paycor Field on that chilly night in Cincinnati, his teammate Stefon Digg took a knee. Like other players, the Bills receiver listened and watched as medical personnel brought the young safety back to life.
In a recent interview with Uninterrupted, Stefon Diggs talked about Damar Hamlin and how conflicted he felt about whether the Bills and Bengals should have finished the game that Monday night. And yes, Diggs and the other players on the field watched as Hamlin flatlined, only to see his heart beat restored.
“I’ve had many experiences with death, with my family and my friends,” Diggs said. “I try to detach myself mentally to a certain extent. But in that situation it was kind of in and out, it was so inconsistent like. He came to (then) he went. You know what I’m saying? You saw, nobody else (watching on TV) saw, but we saw (the heart monitor) flatline. Swear to God. Saw it flatline twice. So it flatlined, they shocked him and he came back. And everybody was like, it was a movie. It was such a moment … I don’t know.”
Stefon Diggs Felt Like Damar Hamlin Would’ve Wanted Team to Finish Game
Diggs said it still is “kind of hard to describe because it was inconsistent on how to feel. Like you don’t know if you want to play. … (There were) guys crying. And in that moment like I couldn’t do anything but other than if I know Damar Hamlin personally, which I do, like a little bro. Get your guys ready to go. Rally your guys behind him. Cause if you didn’t have something to play for, you’ve got something (now).”
Stefon Diggs said that stopping the game after an ambulance transporting Damar Hamlin to a downtown hospital was “probably in the best interest.”
“But in that moment, if we had to go back out there, I know Damar would’ve wanted us to play,” Diggs said. “Cause when he came to (at the hospital), finally, his words were “did we win?” I was like a little iffy, damn, like am I messed up for wanting to try and get the guys to play?”
And more than two months later, Diggs still feels conflicted.
“Obviously, some guys couldn’t (play),” he said. “But then, when he woke and said ‘did we win it’ was like reassuring — (it was) validation. I know he had a winning spirit. I knew my little bro would’ve wanted me to go bump with them, not go leave.”
Stefon Diggs left the lockerroom early and, on his own, found his way to the hospital. He told reporters there he wanted to check on his younger teammate. Hamlin quickly recovered, as he got off life support within three days and then was released from the hospital within a week of his cardiac arrest.
There is no definitive word on whether he’ll be healthy enough to play pro football again. Bills GM Brandon Beane provided an update earlier this month at the NFL Combine.
“Assuming he gets full clearance, I know he would want to play,” Beane said of Hamlin. “I know that’s his end game, to continue playing. We want to make sure we’re all in sync.”