Bills’ Hamlin attends first game since collapse, waving to fans


Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin appeared in public for the first time since suffering a cardiac arrest after performing a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals three weeks ago, waving to fans from a row of stadiums into Sunday when the teams meet again in the AFC knockout tie which the Bills went to lose 27-10.

The crowd at Highmark Stadium exploded as images of Hamlin recovering filled the big screens in the late quarters near the end of the first half. Fans turned towards the glass-doored suites and cheered.

Hamlin, wearing a hooded jacket, stood in front of the window and raised his arms as if to greet the crowd and encourage them to stand up as the Bengal team were facing second place and the goal was in second. 5. He finishes by making a hand-signed heart shape, his signature gesture.

Earlier on Sunday, the Bills posted a video on both Instagram and Twitter showing Hamlin arriving in the team’s locker room and announcing “Welcome home, Damar.” The video shows Hamlin arriving in a golf cart about an hour before the match, wearing sunglasses and a face covering, the hood of his jacket pulled up. He was accompanied by his 7-year-old brother Damir and his mother Nina.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen described his presence as “a warm feeling.

“Obviously we wanted to play for him… We just ran into a better team tonight,” Allen said after the loss.

Hamlin was not seen before the match in snowy conditions. The Bills did not announce his whereabouts, but word of his attendance went viral by the time he appeared on screen.

“It was amazing, it really was. I think everyone was excited,” Buffalo fan Brin Jobson said at halftime. “We heard he could be here, so it’s great to see him.”

Hamlin, 24, has not appeared in public since the Bills and Bengals last met on January 2 in a game that was abruptly halted and eventually abandoned after Hamlin collapsed on the field in the first half. first.

Bills coach Sean McDermott said Hamlin began regularly visiting the team’s facility shortly after he was discharged from the hospital with what he describes as “dip toes back here and on the road to get back to being a real player.” me.”

McDermott later said it was “a great moment” when Hamlin appeared on screen during the match, especially when just a few weeks ago the paramedics had been using CPR and a respirator automatic external defibrillation to restart his heart.

For a few minutes, the television audience watching Monday night’s game instead saw fear and sadness on the players’ faces, some with tears in their eyes.

McDermott said: “As long as he’s in the dressing room (Sunday), his presence is good for the boys.

A spokesman for Hamlin’s family said this week that he still faces a long recovery. “Damar still needs oxygen and regular heart monitoring to make sure there aren’t any setbacks or consequences,” Jordon Rooney told The Associated Press.

The Bills did not disclose the results of tests Hamlin underwent to determine why his heart stopped after he was hit in the chest while performing what appeared to be a move. normal processing phase.

Hamlin, a native of the Pittsburgh area, tweeted live as he watched Buffalo’s 35-23 season-ending win over New England from his hospital bed at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Jan. 8. last week, he tweeted live from home while watching the Bills’ 34-31 win over Miami in a wild card playoff.

“We’ll be back,” Hamlin tweeted hours after the Bills’ season-end loss to the Bengals. “Don’t even stumble.”

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