NFL Fans Send Thoughts and Prayers



A video board at Levi’s Stadium shows a message for Damar Hamlin during an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Ben Perleberg, Staff Writer

At 7:30, on Jan 2, the Bengals and Bills were set for a thrilling AFC matchup. Both teams had great records with this game being a big factor in deciding the seeding for the playoffs.

The Bengals started off with a bang with WR Tee Higgins catching a touchdown from QB Joe Burrow. The Bills responded quickly with three points of their own. On the Bengals next drive, safety Damar Hamlin made a routine tackle, but after he rose from the ground, he suffered from cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field. Hamlin was then given CPR on the field.

When an injury like that takes place, it really becomes more than just a game. Many fans were in shock watching the game live, as an injury like this has never occurred live on a football field. “As someone who loves the game of football, and puts my body on the line every game, it truly is a terrifying injury. My prayers to Damar and his family,” senior Javon Murry said.  

Following the injury, the NFL announced that the Bengals-Bills game would be delayed, but ultimately they canceled the game. “The NFL made the correct choice on not playing this game out. It’s more than just the game at this point,” senior Jake Gajewski said. 

Hamlin’s injury is quite unique, and has never happened in the NFL before. The impact to his chest was perfectly timed in between heartbeats. This means the electrons inside were just the right distance apart where a hit to the chest at that caliber would send someone into cardiac arrest. This bizarre occurrence has happened a handful of times in the MLB

News of Damar’s injury spread rapidly across the league. Every team changed their profile pictures, had players wearing Damar Hamlin shirts, and donated to his “Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive”. Hamlin started this toy drive a couple months ago which raised $2500 on his own. With the support of fans around the league, that charity has reached over $8 million.

Damar has been steadily recovering from his injury and is now with his family in Buffalo. After he woke up, he Facetimed some of his teammates to let them know that he will be alright. Hamlin plans on traveling with the Bills for the playoffs.