Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamelin shared a picture of himself online Sunday. It shows him in his hospital bed, rooting for his team-mates less than one week after his on-field cardiac arrest.
“GAMETIME!! Hamlin posted the message. He was holding his hands in a heart sign, with his fingers together. The photo also showed him wearing a number three hat and “Love for Damar” shirt.
This was just one of many posts Hamlin made Sunday in response to Bills’ win over New England Patriots. He also tweeted other NFL news.
A source said that Hamlin has made steady progress since his cardiac arrest, in which he collapsed, on Monday after he was tackled by the Cincinnati Bengals. He is expected to be discharged from University of Cincinnati Medical Center within the next few days.
Although he is still in intensive care, there have been positive updates about his prognosis. He was able to join a FaceTime team meeting on Friday with coaches and players, after his breathing tube had been removed. He said to the team, “Love you guys.”
Hamlin, despite the scary medical situation, expressed his willingness to play for Bills against Patriots on Sunday.
He wrote, “It’s GameDay and There’s Nothing I Want more than To Run Out That Tunnel with My Brothers,” alongside an earlier video. God is using me in a different way today! “Tell Someone You Love Today!” He also added #Prayfor3, the number of his jersey.
Players, coaches, and fans from all over the league, including Buffalo, showed their support for Hamlin by wearing T-shirts and signs featuring his name, and number. Many of Hamlin’s Bills teammates took to the fields at Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park in NY waving flags that included his name and number.
According to the source, Hamlin will be discharged and immediately go back to Buffalo.
Today, Bills quarterback Josh Allen arrived at the stadium wearing a sweatshirt that featured a large number 3, and Hamlin’s quote: “If there is a way to show love today, do it!” Hamlin shared a picture of Allen on Twitter and said, “That’s my Quarterback.”
The public address announcer in Orchard Park read out a support statement for Hamlin, and was cheered by the crowd. All around the stadium, fans held signs supporting Hamlin including “BILLI3VE”, “All the Heart for #3,” and “Love for Damar.”
Before the game began, Bills athletic and medical training personnel were acknowledged. This included Denny Kellington (assistant athletic trainer), who is credited for saving Hamlin’s life. After his third quarter touchdown catch, Bills wide receiver John Brown gave Kellington a ball.
Hamlin was immediately given something to be happy about by the Bills once they started playing.
Nyhiem Hines, the Bills’ kickoff returner, took the first kickoff and scored a 96 yard touchdown. This storybook start sent fans into an euphoria that prompted Hamlin, who tweeted, “OMFG !!!!!!!!!!!!.” “Free Hines” and “Thank You!” It was the Bills’ first kick return touchdown since October 2019. This happened three years, three months and three months apart. The jersey number of Hamlin is prominently displayed.
After the game, quarterback Josh Allen stated that he couldn’t recall a play that had touched him so deeply. It was spiritual. It was just spiritual.
He cried, “I just heard… It’s been three and three months since (touchdown) the last kickoff return.” It’s quite cool.
Hines stated that he felt “speechless” about the opening kickoff play.
He said, “I am so grateful it was me that brought that juice. But it was far bigger than me. That’s what I thought all day.” It was larger than me and bigger than the 10 men who blocked it for me.
In the third quarter Hines returned a kick-off touchdown. Hamlin responded with a tweet declaring, “HINES FREE” along with open lock emoticons.
Dawson Knox, Bills’ tight end, scored a touchdown in the first quarter. He then reached out to a camera with both his hands and made a gesture of love. Hamlin tweeted “I also love you @Dawson_Knox.”
In the end, the Bills won the game by a score of 35-22. This denied the Patriots an opportunity to make it into the playoffs. Hamlin later tweeted the link to an internet sale for shirts featuring the hands-assheart gesture, and the phrase “Did they win?”. This was Hamlin’s first question upon his arrival at the hospital.
Hamlin wrote, “We all won,” Hamlin tweeted, “We all won.” This shirt’s proceeds will be donated to the UC Trauma Center and first-responders. Go get yours!”
Tre’Davious white, Bills cornerback, revealed that Sunday Damar Hamlin sent members of his team a text message apologizing to him for injuring himself.
We received a text message from Damar around 2.31 AM yesterday morning. White stated that he sent us a text message saying, “I’m thinking of y’all, I’m sorry I did that,” He is such a caring person to send us a text message to let us know he cares about us.
White stated that he can’t wait “to hear his voice and touch him”, as well as “hug Damar the sh*t” when he meets him.
Sean McDermott, Bills’ head coach, said that there wasn’t need to apologize.
Damar shouldn’t feel sorry for putting his team through such a difficult time. McDermott stated that everyone would agree with McDermott that God is involved in the situation and has been since the beginning.
You can see how divided the United States of America can become as a nation. This week, I believe we can all agree that love and compassion can make a difference and bring together the power of this nation and the world. He said that the amount of love people have for each other is amazing. Although it was a sporting event that allowed that, I believe that that is a wonderful example for all of us. We should keep that up going forward.
McDermott stated that Hamlin’s positive attitude has lifted the team before they return to play.
He is simply amazing. His positive spirit is amazing. His spirit is so positive. He will always be in our thoughts.
McDermott stated that he exchanged text messages with Hamlin on Saturday night as well as Sunday morning. McDermott said that Hamlin’s better health was a huge lift and has allowed the men to forget about Damar for a while, and to concentrate on this game.
Many of Hamlin’s colleagues were moved to tears by the sight of Hamlin being revived by the medical team. They met Wednesday and had their first practice for the week.
Allen stated that it was difficult to focus on football while their teammate is still in hospital.
He said that he thought putting the helmet on again was a good idea for his team. But I wouldn’t lie to you if i didn’t tell you that some people will be forever changed after experiencing the emotions and seeing it on the field.
Tremaine Edmunds, Bills’ linebacker, said that it had been a difficult week for the players trying to get ready for Hamlin.
It was an emotionally charged week. We had constant updates with him that gave us encouragement throughout the week. He said that it was just knowing that he was improving. He said, “And I won’t lie. That FaceTime conversation we had earlier this week made a big difference in our hearts. Knowing that he was doing better. It’s comforting to know that he will be okay. It was still a long road for him but it brought a lot to our hearts.
This report was contributed by Chuck Johnston, Kevin Dotson, and Adrienne Broaddus of CNN.