On Sunday, during the first half of the Buffalo Bills’ playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the two-minute warning gave way to an incredible moment as snow fell at Highmark Stadium.
An image appeared and although it was difficult to decipher who it was, the words “Damar Hamlin, Bills safety” flashed across the screen. The picture of Hamlin became clearer as he held his hands up in the shape of a heart. He also bolstered the energy of the crowd as they cheered him on.
Coach Sean McDermott commented on the cameo after the team’s 27-10 season-ending loss:
“I thought it was a pretty cool moment. The game wasn’t trending the way we wanted it to. But when they put them on the big screen, and just a great moment, keep in perspective, of course on where he was just a few weeks ago. So super happy for him and thankful that his health is returning. And I know he’ll continue to take it one day at a time.”
Hamlin was accompanied to his first Bills game back by his family, including his parents Nina and Mario as well as his brother Damir. Before the game, Hamlin also surprised teammates with a visit to the locker room. Center Mitch Morse remarked:
“Just his presence I think speaks volumes. He’s not a big rah-rah guy and I’m sure that at some point he’s a little bit exhausted of people asking how he’s doing or put in a position that he didn’t ask to be put in. His presence alone, his smile, his positive energy, which he’s always had, always interjects energy and good vibes with the group. It was really good to see him. I’m really happy for the fans, the crowd, for him to be able to go out there and he’s worked very hard to get in the position he’s at right now.”
Hamlin’s visit comes nearly after three weeks after he went into cardiac arrest on the field during the Bills’ Week 17 game against the Bengals.