Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin made a huge impact this past weekend returning to the field after collapsing from cardiac arrest in January.
Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills made his NFL return this weekend after collapsing from cardiac arrest back in January and being diagnosed with commotio cordis, a condition defined as a “direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest, and five to seven seconds later, you fall out,” he explained at a press conference back in April.
At the same press conference, the 25-year-old player said he was committed to returning to the NFL once he received the proper medical clearance, and this weekend he did just that.
Hamlin appeared in two-plus defensive series that overlapped the first two quarters, and was credited with three tackles, according to reports. He spent the second half of the game watching from the sideline. Back in April, Hamlin discussed his commitment to the game and his desire to make his return to the field.
“I made the choice to play. But I’m processing a thousand emotions. I’m not afraid to say that it crosses my mind of being a little scared here and there.”
Back in January Hamlin was worried about the reality of his football career, after remaining in two hospitals for nine days, however in April he announced his plans to resume his career.
Since April the Bills have slowly eased Hamlin back on the field. In May he participated in two individual drills and team drills a week later. Two weeks ago he made progress by experiencing his first tackle in the Bills’ first full-padded practice of training camp.
After the delay of a thunderstorm which lasted in the region for around 75 minutes before kickoff, Hamlin and other players were able to return to the field. Hamlin also stated that he didn’t yet want to think about preseason, as he was just excited to be back and wanted to stay in the moment.
“My faith is stronger than any fear. That’s what I want to preach up here. And that’s the message I want to spread on to the world that as long as your faith is stronger than your fear, you can get through anything.”
The NFL posted a video to their social media welcoming back Hamlin as he arrived at the stadium, stating “Welcome Back!” In the video Hamlin can be seen holding up his now familiar heart sign and his three fingers, signifying his jersey number.
Videos also showed Hamlin hugging Bills receiver Stefon Diggs during pregame warmups as well. Hamlin also had support from the opposite sideline as well.
Isaiah McKenzie, receiver who signed with the Colts during this recent offseason after being with the Bills for the last four-years, has arranged to exchange jerseys with Hamlin following the game.
Hamlin seemed confident in his return, showing no real signs of hesitation or restraint throughout the training camp, hoping to re-secure one of his backup spots behind returning starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.