Buffalo Bills head coach in touching message to Damar Hamlin ahead of reunion

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Damar Hamlin is awake and has reportedly spoken to his Buffalo Bills teammates and coaches (Image: Kamil Krzaczynski/AP/REX/Shutterstock)
Damar Hamlin is awake and has reportedly spoken to his Buffalo Bills teammates and coaches (Image: Kamil Krzaczynski/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott emotionally revealed what it was like to speak to Damar Hamlin as the safety continues his remarkable recovery from a terrifying cardiac arrest.

On Monday, the crucial game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals - which was set to play a big role in deciding the first seed in the AFC - was suspended following Hamlin’s collapse. With just under six minutes remaining in the opening quarter, the 24-year-old fell to the turf after making a tackle and had to be revived on the field before he was rushed to the University of Cincinnati hospital.

There has been a tsunami of support for Hamlin and his family in the aftermath of the worrying scenes, with the sporting world uniting together behind the safety to recover. On Thursday, University of Cincinnati Health physicians Dr. Timothy Pritts and Dr. William Knight announced Hamlin began to wake up that morning, while they confirmed his neurologically function was intact.

On Friday, the Bills revealed the physicians at UCMC confirmed Hamlin’s breathing tube had been removed overnight and the safety has reportedly spoken to his family, his care team and Bills teammates. When asked about conversing with Hamlin, head coach Sean McDermott spoke glowingly of the experience.

“Probably won't be able to do it justice, honestly, with words,” McDermott said, according to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi. “Amazing. Touching.

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“To see Damar through my own eyes is something I've been looking forward to.”

Buffalo Bills head coach in touching message to Damar Hamlin ahead of reunionBuffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott admitted it was 'amazing' to speak to Damar Hamlin on Friday (Jeffrey T Barnes/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

McDermott said Hamlin even gestured to the team, suggesting he had even flexed to the pleasure of his teammates. He also thanked many NFL figures for reaching out to the organisation amid the troubling time, including New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s crucial clash with the Pats, McDermott acknowledged the shift from the human side of the game to returning to action has been difficult. He added: “That has certainly been a release on the pressure valve a little bit to allow more football to get into the channel, the pipeline. The coaches, they had to start... Tuesday. How difficult that was.”

The Bills are set to face the Patriots in the final regular season match of the 2022 season this week, with Belichick and co. needing to win to clinch a spot in the postseason. It’s a huge match for Buffalo as the first seed in the AFC is on the line - and they will undoubtedly want to get the win for Hamlin.

Andrew Gamble

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation