On Monday night, the NFL world was stunned when, after making a tackle on Bengals WR Tee Higgins, Bills safety Damar Hamlin stood up and collapsed.
According to the Bills, Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, and his heartbeat was restored on the field. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. According to the Bills, Hamlin remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement.
New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who was the offensive coordinator in Buffalo from 2018 up to last season, and spent time with Hamlin, says the past few days have been tough.
“It’s been difficult the last couple days,” Daboll said on Wednesday. “This is a relationship business, and when something like that happens to people that mean a lot to you – or even if you don’t know them, you have just a great amount of respect for (them) – it really doesn’t matter what job you do. But having been around the young man, I know him. I know the type of person he is. Yeah, it’s tough.”
Saquon Barkley, who has a relationship with Hamlin, says what happened to the second-year safety is a mother’s worst nightmare.
“You think about it, you talk about, but when you actually see something like that – it leaves you speechless,” Barkley said. “The first text I got was from my mom. My mom was just saying how bad she feels for Damar’s family. That’s a mother’s; that’s a parent’s worst nightmare. It definitely does put it in perspective. Me having kids seeing that – it’s a physical sport, it’s a game I love to play, but at any given moment, it makes you just appreciate all the little things. Going out to practice, spend time with your family, spend time with your teammates, your friends, and even stuff like this. Any moment, anything can happen.”
Hamlin’s tackle on Higgins was a routine play, which Barkley says often happens in an NFL game.
“It’s tough because it’s a routine play,” he said. “It’s a play that’s happened millions, millions of times. It’s a play that I’ve done millions and thousands of times before. It’s tough. It really is tough. It’s hard to even speak on it. Words can’t really explain how you even feel in that moment. Like I said, I know I sound like a broken record, the only thing you really can do is just pray. Just pray for his family, pray for him, pray for the guys over in Buffalo, all of the people that are impacted by that – even the guys in Cincinnati – and just wish for the best.”
At this point, Barkley’s right, all we can do is pray and wish Hamlin the best.