Mercifully, the worst of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s ordeal appears to be over.
Per multiple reports, Hamlin no longer needs a breathing tube — meaning he can breathe on his own — and he video called into the Bills team meeting Friday morning to address his teammates and coaching staff.
“Love you boys,” he told the group.
That Hamlin is even on the road to recovery is a testament to the medical professional at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, first responders, and the fast actions of the Bills and Bengals athletic training staffs.
In particular, Buffalo assistant athletic trainer Danny Kellington’s administration of CPR was “absolutely vital” and may have saved Hamlin’s life.
Support from around the football world continues to pour in in the wake of the unprecedented NFL medical emergency.
Earlier this week, Fanatics confirmed that Hamlin’s jersey was the top seller on its online store since Monday night — and that all proceeds from the jersey’s sale would be donated to Hamlin’s charity, the Chasing M’s Foundation.
As of Friday, the foundation’s toy drive had raised over $7.8 million.
The NFLPA announced Friday morning that Hamlin had been named its Community MVP for Week 18 for his efforts in his hometown of Pittsburgh, even before the incident.
NFL teams will roll out several initiatives to honor Hamlin in the final week of the regular season: All teams will hold a moment of support, paint Halmin’s number 3 on their fields, and give “Love for Damar 3” shirts for players to wear pregame.
The Bills will wear “3” patches on their jerseys for their home game against the New England Patriots.