Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin returned to the field on Saturday in his first NFL game since suffering cardiac arrest during a game in January.
Hamlin played in the Bills’ preseason Week 1 game, which they won against the Indianapolis Colts at Highmark Stadium, with Hamlin recording three tackles during the first half.
“It was fun, it was super fun, it was a great experience, just another milestone and a step up to just getting back to myself as far as the football space,” the player said in a post-game interview. “Just chopping this tree down as much as I can, one step [at a time].”
Hamlin collapsed on the field during a Jan. 2 Monday Night Football game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. At the time, medical officials administered CPR on the field before he was taken to a hospital in critical condition. It was later revealed that he had gone into cardiac arrest, and he was released from the hospital a week after his collapse.
The safety later opened up about his physical and emotional recovery following the incident in a February sit-down interview with Good Morning America. “I’m just thankful [God] gave me a second chance just to live normally and just come out almost without a scratch on me,” he said at the time. “Just to be able to keep going.”
Added head coach Sean McDermott after Saturday’s game: “What we just witnessed to me is remarkable. It really is. It’s a true sign of a young man’s courage and, obviously, everyone that helped him get to this point. I know there’s a football game going on out there today, but I mean, truly remarkable display of courage and strength and faith.”
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