- Damar Hamlin returned to the NFL in the Bills’ 48-20 win over the Dolphins
- In January, the 25-year-old needed resuscitation on the field vs. the Bengals
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Damar Hamlin’s comeback to the NFL was captured by hidden microphones, allowing fans to sample the emotion and poignance of the Bills safety’s return to the field.
Hamlin suited up for the Bills’ 48-20 victory over the Dolphins on Sunday – nine months after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field.
The 25-year-old needed resuscitation on the field during a ‘Monday Night Football’ game against the Bengals in January.
And the significance of his remarkable return was not lost on Hamlin, teammates, opponents, officials – or the Bills staff that saved his life.
‘We did it, man,’ the safety said to Tabani Richards, one of the team’s athletic trainers who helped pull him back from the brink.
Damar Hamlin’s incredible comeback to the NFL was captured by hidden microphones
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest following a hit from Tee Higgins on January 2 in Cincinnati
He speaks to Denny Kellington, who is credited with being the first person to perform CPR
‘You did,’ replied Richards, who stayed with Hamlin in the hospital, where the 25-year-old was put on a ventilator before making a full recovery.
‘Think about where we was at,’ Hamlin added. ‘January, earlier this year, February – in Cincinnati to Buffalo.’
Richards’ fellow assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington is credited with being the first person to perform CPR on Hamlin after he collapsed.
He greeted Hamlin before kick-off and told the safety: ‘Have fun today, brother.’ Hamlin’s reply was poignant: ‘Love you Denny.’
The NFL released the footage on social media on Tuesday, detailing Hamlin’s encounters from before, during and after the game.
Hamlin’s fellow safety, Micah Hyde, hugs the 25-year-old before kick-off against the Dolphins
After the Bills’ 48-20 victory, Hamlin spoke to Dolphis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (left)
‘I’m ready to play,’ Hamlin said as he threw a ball around during the warm-up. He then hugged fellow safety Micah Hyde.
‘Lead the way, I’m right behind you,’ Hamlin said. ‘I love you, I’m so proud of you,’ Hyde replied.
Shortly before kick-off, the safety crossed paths with an official who told Hamlin: ‘It’s good to have you back, boy.’
‘Yes sir, it’s a blessing,’ the player responded.
Later, after the Bills had secured victory at Highmark Stadium, Hamlin embraced Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
‘Hey Damar, what’s up bro. Good to see you, how are you feeling?’ Tua asked. ‘You guys keep going man, we’ll see you guys again… best of luck, stay healthy.’
Hamlin’s return came less than a year after he went into cardiac arrest and needed CPR