Damar Hamlin made a brief appearance at the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati game on Sunday (Jan. 22). Hamlin arrived at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park before the AFC Divisional playoff exhibition, donning a disguise in an attempt to keep a low profile.
However, the packed stadium spotted #3 and erupted in cheers and excitement to finally see the player who had been absent from the stadium since he collapsed almost three weeks ago.
Highmark security escorted the ex-Pittsburgh University athlete to a private suite, where he was able to rest and watch the massively important game.
During the AFC Divisional, the camera showed a glimpse of Hamlin supporting his boys from the suite, throwing up his signature heart gesture to the roaring crowd.
On Jan. 2, 2023, Damar collapsed after making a play during the now infamous Monday Night Football match between these two teams. The 24-year-old Pennsylvania native had to be revived and transferred to a Cincinnati hospital for further treatment.
The NFL canceled the MNF exhibition, and the star received abundant support from fans and NFL franchises alike. Additionally, during Week 18’s games, the NFL paid homage to the Bills’ safety by transforming the three at the thirty-yard line to replicate the team’s red, blue and white aesthetic. Players around the league wore “Love For Damar” t-shirts and sweaters on the sidelines as well.
Unfortunately, the touching moment (and the Bills’ season) ended as Hamlin’s team was crushed under the Bengal’s offensive and defensive juggernaut on Sunday evening.
The AFC North squad came out firing on all cylinders, with QB Joe Burrow torching the Bills’ secondary and RB Joe Mixon, making mincemeat of their depleted run defense.
Buffalo would ultimately lose the game 10-27 and be eliminated from the NFL playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.