On Thursday, Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott credited God’s “healing powers” for the progress of Bills’ defensive back Damar Hamlin, who experienced a cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game but has improved each day since.
Hamlin’s life was spared when medical professionals performed CPR when he collapsed moments after he made a tackle in the nationally televised game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
On Friday, the Bills said Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight. He also spoke to the team Friday, telling them, “Love you, boys.”
Damar Hamlin FaceTimed into our team meeting today to talk to players and coaches.
What he said to the team: “Love you boys.” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8dorrWNaxt
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 6, 2023
“The amount of faith, hope and love that we saw on display over the last three days has been nothing short of amazing,” McDermott said Thursday during a news conference.
McDermott thanked doctors, the Cincinnati organization and the officiating crew, saying: “handled that situation with extreme poise and compassion.” He also thanked the NFL and then the media for their “privacy and compassion.”
“Finally, and just as important as anything, is glory to God for His keeping Damar and his family in the palm of His hand over the last couple of days – and His healing powers,” McDermott said.
“Glory to God for his keeping Damar and his family in the palm of his hand over the last couple of days.”
Powerful words from Bills head coach Sean McDermott on Damar Hamlin pic.twitter.com/G4D8CGeQkZ
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) January 5, 2023
The Bills released a statement Friday saying Hamlin “continues to progress remarkably in his recovery.”
“His neurologic function remains intact, and he has been able to talk to his family and care team,” the Bills’ statement said.
When Hamlin woke up this week, his first words were, “Did we win?” (The game was suspended. On Thursday, the NFL said it would not be completed.)
“I don’t think people really understand the bond and the relationship and the brotherhood that you have as an NFL team, especially this one here,” Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen said Thursday. “Guys love each other. We really do. And for … Damar to go through that and to come out on the other side and … just think about his teammates, that’s Damar. That’s who he is.”
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.