“Did you see what just happened?!” Normally getting a text from my dad about football, I was expecting this to be another incredible play. Or agonizing defeat. Little did I expect a game to turn so serious in a matter of moments. In that moment the NFL was so much more than a game to be won or lost.
Monday Night Football came to a terrifying halt during the Bengals and Bills game, the nation seemed to be holding it’s breath for one player. The 24 year old made a tackle, only to stand up and drop moments afterwards. The game was put on hold and an ambulance drove onto the field. Both sides agreed to cancel the game as they prayed for the downed player who was unresponsive and being attended to with emergency CPR.
Two long days later, positive but still scary news of an update has been given. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is awake and communicating, but only on paper. He can’t speak yet, because he’s still on a ventilator. Wednesday night, he actually asked doctors who won Monday night’s game.
And the doctors told him, quote, “You won the game of life.”
Yesterday, Damar’s rep said he’s making steady progress and has shown, quote, “remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours. He also appears to be, quote, “neurologically intact.”
However, he’s still in critical condition, and still has “a ways to go” in his recovery.
The NFL announced yesterday that the Bills and Bengals will NOT replay the game. Both teams are already in the playoffs, so that won’t be affected. Officials are meeting today to figure out seeding and other issues.
The outpouring of love and support came in waves. In the days since Hamlin’s emergency, more than 225,000 people — including fans, players and NFL team owners — have raised more than $7 million for Hamlin’s foundation.
Hamlin’s father, Mario, released a statement Thursday thanking fans for their “generous support” of the Chasing M’s foundation. He urges fans to donate to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center trauma center, where Damar is receiving care.