- Damar Hamlin returned to the NFL in the Bills’ 48-20 win over the Dolphins
- In January, the 25-year-old required CPR on the field against the Bengals
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Damar Hamlin’s NFL comeback was captured by hidden microphones, giving fans a taste of the emotion and poignancy 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 suffering cardiac arrest on the field.
The 25-year-old required CPR 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 after a hit by Tee Higgins on Jan. 2 in Cincinnati
He speaks with Denny Kellington, who is said to be the first person to perform CPR
“You did,” replied Richards, who stayed with Hamlin at the hospital, where the 25-year-old was placed on a ventilator before making a full recovery.
“Think about where we were,” Hamlin added. “January, earlier this year, February – 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 kickoff and told the safety, “Have fun today, brother.” Hamlin’s response was poignant: “I love you Denny.”
The NFL released the footage on social media Tuesday, detailing Hamlin’s encounters before, during and after the game.
Hamlin’s fellow safety, Micah Hyde, hugs the 25-year-old before kickoff against the Dolphins
After the Bills’ 48-20 victory, Hamlin spoke with Dolphis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (left)
“I’m ready to play,” Hamlin said as he tossed a ball around during warmups. He then hugged fellow security officer Micah Hyde.
“Lead the way, I’ll be right behind you,” Hamlin said. “I love you, I’m so proud of you,” Hyde replied.
Shortly before kickoff, security crossed paths with an official who told Hamlin, “It’s good to have you back, boy.”
“Yes sir, it’s a blessing,” the player replied.
Later, after the Bills secured the win at Highmark Stadium, Hamlin hugged Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
‘Hey Damar, how are you, brother. Good to see you, how are you feeling?’ Tua asked. “You guys keep going man, we’ll see you again… good luck, stay healthy.”
Hamlin’s return came less than a year after he went into cardiac arrest and required CPR