Looks who’s back! Damar Hamlin joins his teammates in the locker room ahead of the Buffalo Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals – 20 DAYS after he suffered cardiac arrest on the field
- Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field during Bills-Bengals in Week 17
- He faces a lengthy recovery as he recovers but attended the emotional reunion
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Damar Hamlin attended the Buffalo Bills’ playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals in an emotional reunion between the two teams.
The Bills and Bengals reignited their rivalry in the Divisional Round Sunday just under three weeks since the Buffalo safety suffered cardiac arrest on the field during their Week 17 clash.
In touching scenes, Hamlin returned to Highmark Stadium and joined his teammates in the locker room before they took to the field to face the Bengals.
Damar Hamlin attended the Bills’ playoff game against the Bengals in an emotional reunion
In a video shared to the Bills’ Twitter account, Hamlin could be seen arriving at Buffalo’s facilities, driven by a security cart to the team’s dressing room.
Keeping his head dipped down and his hood up, Hamlin made a quick move from the cart into the locker room.
The 24-year-old did not come out on to the field as he takes it easy while continuing to recover and instead reportedly watched the game from the warmth and comfort of a suite as the snow fell in Orchard Park.
His mother, Nina, was also spotted arriving with Hamlin’s younger brother, Damir, 7.
He faces a lengthy recovery – and his family spokesperson said earlier this week that he ‘still requires oxygen.’
Before the matchup, Hamlin tweeted a video from a previous game of him on the field, running to meet his family in the stands, with the simple caption, ‘GameDay… 3pm,’ with a hands-making-a-heart emoji, his signature move, and two red hearts.
Hamlin had tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of the pivotal Monday night game on January 2 – when the two teams last met – and got up briefly before falling backwards to the ground and laying motionless.
Hamlin (left) had a cardiac arrest after a tackle playing against the Bengals back on January 2
Hamlin was administered CPR on the field and was taken by ambulance to a Cincinnati hospital
He was attended to by members of the Bills training staff, including Denny Kellington – who was identified as the man who gave Hamlin necessary CPR.
Hamlin spent more than a week in the hospital, part of that time in critical condition, before eventually being able to return home after making encouraging progress.
Since being released Hamlin has visited the Bills’ training facility almost on a daily basis, according to team personnel, but his recovery is expected to take a long time.
‘Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects,’ Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s longtime friend and business partner, told Associated Press Thursday.
‘Though he is able to visit the team´s facility, Damar is not in position to travel often, and requires additional rest to help his body heal.’
Hamlin reunited with his teammates Saturday and toasted their wildcard playoff win against Miami Dolphins from home.
Bills LB Matt Milano shared a pic of teammate Hamlin back with the team last Saturday
The 24-year-old tweeted his support ahead of the Bills’ game against the Dolphins last week
Bills safety Hamlin was released from hospital in Buffalo and continued his recovery at home
The support for Hamlin continued Sunday in the AFC Wild Card game against the Dolphins
He is back in the building taking ‘baby steps’ on his road to a full recovery, Bills head coach Sean McDermott revealed.
‘Damar is in the building now, almost daily, and that’s good news,’ McDermott told reporters ahead of practice Wednesday.
‘As he continues to improve that helps [the rest of the team]. That experience, we’ll carry that with us. There’s a challenge to [dealing with] that but also a lot of good that came from that and we need to focus on the positives right now.’
Asked specifically what Hamlin has been able to do since coming back into the building, McDermott added: ‘It’s limited overall but he comes in and is just trying to get back to a bit of a routine. Taking one baby step at a time.’
McDermott is keen for his group to ‘focus on positives’ right now with Hamlin making progress but when asked to reflect on the lasting impact Hamlin’s cardiac arrest had on him, the Bills coach’s faith came to the fore.
‘I think just as a world, the biggest thing I learned as a human is people putting aside their agendas for the common good to achieve one goal,’ he added.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said the safety is taking ‘baby steps’ on his road to a full recovery
A mural dedicated to Bills safety Hamlin in the Larkinville neighborhood of Buffalo
‘I’m 48 years old and I shared this story with my kids on Sunday after the New England game, the first chance I’d had to slow down. When you can go through life, 48 years, without anything like that happen you realize god is real and the power of prayer.
QB Josh Allen said something similar to his coach previously when asked about the lasting impact of seeing Hamlin go down.
‘[There was] just kind of kind of a spiritual awakening really for me, and I know for a lot of other people that maybe didn’t have the strongest belief, or wasn’t one of the biggest [or] strongest Christian followers,’ the Bills QB told ESPN’s Kyle Brandt ahead of the playoff matchup with the Dolphins.
‘Something got a hold of me there,’ Allen added. ‘It was extremely powerful that I couldn’t deny.’
To give back to the hospital that saved his life, Hamlin launched a series of t-shirts with proceeds going back to the UC Medical Center.
The Bills player has also set up charity toy drives to raise money for his local community.
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