Damar Hamlin made an emotional comeback to the NFL on Sunday, returning for the Buffalo Bills nine months after suffering cardiac arrest on the field.
The 25-year-old was a healthy scratch for the Bills’ first three games of the season but suffered an injury starting safety Jordan Poyer opened the door for Hamlin to play against the Miami Dolphins.
Hamlin was seen praying in a huddle with his teammates in the minutes before taking the field for his first regular-season game since collapsing in January. He was part of the special teams that kicked off the game.
It comes less than a year after the safety suffered cardiac arrest and required CPR on the field during a “Monday Night Football” game against the Bengals in January.
He returns in a big matchup between AFC East rivals Buffalo (2-1) and the Dolphins (3-0), who earned a 70-20 victory over Denver last week.
Damar Hamlin made a remarkable comeback in the NFL on Sunday against the Dolphins
The safety was seen praying in a huddle with his teammates before heading onto the field
Hamlin returned to the Buffalo Bills for nine months after suffering cardiac arrest on the field
Hamlin took a huge step toward completing his return late last month when he made the cut after the Bills cut their roster to 53 players.
The 25-year-old, who was selected by the Bills in the 2021 NFL draft, has claimed a backup role behind starters Micah Hyde and Poyer.
Hamlin was put into a medically induced coma after he went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field.
He was back in action during the preseason, with his first action against the Indianapolis Colts on August 12 – seven months after his scare on January 2.
Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle in the early stages of the Bills’ trip to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Medics performed CPR on the safety, who was placed on a ventilator and remained in a Buffalo hospital for more than a week.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after a hit by Tee Higgins on Jan. 2 in Cincinnati