On Monday night, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field, pausing all focus on football and putting everyone's concern toward his health. The scary scene left players visibly shaken and very emotional, with many shedding tears as they awaited news on Hamlin's status. With uncertainty at the time and given the weight of what all players, coaches and fans had just witnessed, the Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals was paused, postponed and eventually canceled.
Six days later and Hamlin is enjoying a remarkable recovery. He's breathing on his own and even posting updates on social media. Doctors say his neurological function is "excellent." The Bills and Hamlin's doctors have given updates throughout the week, and the relief that Hamlin's awake and progressing and doing well has been felt throughout the league.
On Sunday, the Bills are playing their first game since Hamlin left the game in an ambulance and it is understandingly an emotional scene at Buffalo's Highmark Stadium. Fans flooded in with signs showing love and support for Hamlin, and the players and coaches wore a No. 3 patch.
Quarterback Josh Allen came out of the tunnel holding a flag that had a No. 3 and read, "Pray for Damar." Other players held the same flag and held up three fingers. The "3" in the 30-yard marker on the field is outlined in blue. Before the game the announcer gave an update on Hamlin's health and asked everyone in the stadium to stand and show support for the safety.
Today is all about choosing LOVE❤️💙— James Kattato (@jckattato) January 8, 2023
All the #3 shirts, all the signs, all the smiles and hugs.
This is Damar Hamlin's day #billsmafia @WKBW pic.twitter.com/ywAbz5eiO0
The Bills are far from the only ones showing support for Hamlin, who is watching the Bills game against the New England Patriots from his hospital bed. Players, teams and fans from around the league are sending extra love to No. 3 as he continues to make strides in his recovery.
Playing for the patch on our jersey today.#LoveForDamar | #ForDamar pic.twitter.com/0nDIyzkxPF— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 8, 2023
#LoveForDamar | #ForDamar pic.twitter.com/c0fH6RFRf2— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 8, 2023
Josh Allen has arrived. Showing Damar Hamlin support and a 👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/E0BofbQu53— Josh Reed (@4JoshReed) January 8, 2023
Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, who was on the other side of Hamlin's hit right before the safety fell to the ground, wore a No. 3 shirt.
💙❤️ for #3 pic.twitter.com/Btbyo9jy25— Tee Higgins⁵ (@teehiggins5) January 8, 2023
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is at the Bills game wearing a No. 3 hat.
#LoveForDamar pic.twitter.com/ua7ER0I6eg— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
Love for Damar from the whole NFL family. 🙌https://t.co/7qOe3bb7e0 | #LoveForDamar pic.twitter.com/gRAH9EmHRC— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 8, 2023
3️⃣💙#LoveForDamar (via @Ravens, @nyjets, @ChicagoBears, @Bengals) pic.twitter.com/LjrPHeBiPi— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
"If you get a chance to show some love today, do it. It won't cost you nothing." - @HamlinIsland @BuffaloBills | #ForDamar pic.twitter.com/KvljQ6lLSs— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
#LoveForDamar @GenoStone22 honors his childhood friend @HamlinIsland. 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/XEeswUppV2— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 8, 2023
Justin Jefferson repping @HamlinIsland. #ForDamar pic.twitter.com/MOSvWarPeT— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
#LoveForDamar pic.twitter.com/T8Ch4vSKmT— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) January 8, 2023
The @HoustonTexans and @Colts shared a special moment pregame to honor @HamlinIsland. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/cBoAbUdSVx— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
David, founder of @BillsMafiaGer, traveled from Germany to Orchard Park to be at the game today to support Damar Hamlin.— alex brasky (@alexbrasky) January 8, 2023
“What he survived was the game of his life. Just awesome.”#Bills #BillsMafia #ForDamar @HamlinIsland @Batavia_Daily pic.twitter.com/5uN3LMI6H9
The Jaguars and Titans shared a powerful moment together pregame for Damar Hamlin ❤️#ForDamar pic.twitter.com/o8Uqu2oNWJ— ESPN (@espn) January 8, 2023
Jordan Whitehead, who was Damar Hamlin's roommate in college, stretches in Hamlin's jersey ahead of today's game in Miami. pic.twitter.com/L26qkeuH0Y— Jets Videos (@snyjets) January 8, 2023
Kenny Pickett all smiles this morning and showing love for his former teammate Damar Hamlin pic.twitter.com/YeESFaSQU0— Emily Giangreco (@EmilyGiangreco) January 8, 2023
Ravens safety Geno Stone arriving at Paycor Stadium wearing a Damar Hamlin jersey. pic.twitter.com/1sWhRWthzN— Bridget Condon (@BridgetCondon_) January 8, 2023
Tyler Boyd, who is close friends with Damar Hamlin, is wearing his jersey during warmups. The two had planned to swap jerseys Monday night after the game.— Bridget Condon (@BridgetCondon_) January 8, 2023
Cam Taylor-Britt also wearing a Hamlin jersey. Most everyone else on the team wearing 'Love For Damar' t-shirts. pic.twitter.com/JL6lQhnC7l
Colts safety and Damar Hamlin's high school teammate Rodney Thomas II honors Damar after his interception #LoveForDamar @HamlinIsland @Rodney_Thomas26 pic.twitter.com/Zu2gyQ2tKg— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
Damar Hamlin checking in ❤️ #LoveForDamar@HamlinIsland | @BoobieMilesXXIV pic.twitter.com/3O9Y3VeQsP— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
The Bills defeated the Patriots 35-23 on Sunday, securing the No. 2 seed and eliminating the Patriots from the playoffs. After the game, players noted that the win was for Damar.
What they said‼️#ForDamar | #LoveForDamar pic.twitter.com/B08TVc9ZkJ— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 8, 2023