Damar Hamlin has first snap for Buffalo Bills since cardiac arrest
Hamlin came on in the fourth quarter for the Bills against Denver Broncos with a minute and 39 seconds remaining and his team leading the Broncos 22-21.
- Damar Hamlin had a cardiac arrest on the field for Buffalo Bills on January 2
- 317 days later, he returned to the field for his team in the NFL for his first snap
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Damar Hamlin has taken his first defensive snap of the season for the Buffalo Bills and his first since his cardiac arrest on the field in January.
Hamlin came on in the fourth quarter for the Bills against Denver Broncos with a minute and 39 seconds remaining and his team leading 22-21. He received a massive ovation from the Bills fans at Highmark Stadium, coming on for Cam Lewis after he had seemingly injured his right arm.
Then, on the first drive, Hamlin tackled Adam Trautman to massive cheers from the crowd. Going into the game, Hamlin was active for the Bills for just the second time this season.
The Bills would go on to narrowly lose the game 24-22.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on January 2, playing for the Bills against Cincinnati Bengals. 317 days later, he was back in the NFL but later on Monday night, Hamlin's representative hit out at fans on Twitter claiming he should not win the NFL's 'Comeback of the year' award for this season.
Some NFL followers have questioned if Hamlin would deserve the award given he has had a minor role on the Bills team so far.
But Jordan Rooney wrote on X: 'It’s almost as if the Bills (with depth at Safety) have been taking it slow with his comeback (from death, in case you forgot) and the narrative that he isn’t good at football is being pushed by people who don’t know football.
In a separate post, responding to someone saying Hamlin did not deserve comeback of the year. he said: 'Another incorrect narrative that’s talked about a lot.
'It’s a perseverance award, not a performance award. Comeback player of the year “shows perseverance in overcoming adversity, in the form of not being in the NFL the previous year, a severe injury, or simply poor performance.”
'Who has overcome more adversity than him ever than anyone in the NFL ever?'
Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on January 2 before returning to his feet, wobbling and collapsing to the Paycor Stadium turf where he needed to be resuscitated.
Three months later, upon announcing that he would play on in the NFL, Hamlin said that he died on national television and that commotio cordis - a direct blow at a specific point in his heartbeat - caused the cardiac arrest.
'I died on national TV in front of the world,' Hamlin said in April. 'It's (commotio cordis) a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest.
'Five to seven seconds later, you fall out and that's pretty much what everyone was seeing January 2 of this year.'
The Bills would go on to lose the game 24-22 in farcical circumstances, accidentally fielding 12 players for a field goal attempt that the Broncos missed.
Due to the error, the Broncos were allowed to retake the attempt and move five yards further up the field. They converted the kick and they won the game.
But while the Bills season hangs by a thread after the defeat, the significance of Hamlin getting his first minutes in the NFL this season cannot be understated.
Up to now, Hamlin had only played in preseason games for the Bills ahead of the season starting back in September.