Damar Hamlin continued his encouraging comeback on Tuesday as he picked off backup quarterback Matt Barkley at Bills training camp.It's been sev
Damar Hamlin continued his encouraging comeback on Tuesday as he picked off backup quarterback Matt Barkley at Bills training camp.
It’s been seven months since Hamlin scarily collapsed on the field during the Bengals, as he was defibrillated and received CPR from the team’s training staff.
And after practicing in pads on Monday for the first time since the incident, Hamlin flashed his ball-hawking abilities the following day.
In a clip posted to the Bills’ Twitter account, the 25-year-old takes advantage of an underthrown pass by Barkley and falls to his knees as he secures the ball.
Hamlin appears to be touched down by the intended receiver but nonetheless jumps to his feet and attempts to take the ball the other way for a touchdown.
Damar Hamlin participated in his first padded practice on Monday since his cardiac arrest
The safety admitted to feeling fear but claimed his faith was stronger, helping him through
The day prior, Hamlin admitted he was ‘a little scared’ as he put pads on for the first time since that harrowing night in Cincinnati.
‘I made the choice to play. But I’m processing a thousand emotions. I’m not afraid to say that it crosses my mind of being a little scared here and there,’ he said.
‘My faith is stronger than any fear. That’s what I want to preach up here. And that’s the message I want to spread on to the world that as long as your faith is stronger than your fear, you can get through anything.’
Hamlin’s biggest contact on Monday came on the final play of practice, when he avoided a block to work his way into the backfield and help a teammate stop tight end Quintin Morris for what would have been a loss.
‘That first little moment of contact, that was just letting me know. I felt alive, man. I felt like I’m here,’ he said with a wide grin.
‘So it felt good. It was just that moment of: ‘All right, let’s settle in and let’s just take one play at a time. Let’s just keep going.”
Hamlin’s NFL career appeared to be firmly in the balance in the winter, even after he was discharged from the hospital following a nine-day stay.
And Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he was walking a fine line by treating Hamlin much like any other player while keeping in mind what he’s gone through.
‘I think awareness is important, right? You’ve got X amount of guys out here and then you have Damar in there as well and trying to make it as a normal as possible,’ McDermott said.
‘We’re going to support him through this, and to this point he’s done a phenomenal job.’
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he was walking a fine line in his treatment of Hamlin
Hamlin’s return to the field came amid another cardiac arrest in sports, as Bronny James collapsed last Monday at USC’s Galen Center.
James has since been released from the hospital, but the episode struck a nerve with Hamlin.
‘It put everything back in perspective for me,’ said Hamlin, who reached out to the James family after they supported him during his recovery.
‘I wanted to let him know I´ll be there for whatever he needs in his journey as far as his recovery and getting back to his sport, if that´s what he chooses to do.’