Everything Bills players and coaches said about Damar Hamlin

Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills. (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills. (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott spoke with the media on Thursday following positive updates on safety Damar Hamlin.

On Monday, the NFL world was shaken and waiting to hear updates about Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the team’s Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He received CPR for multiple minutes on the field and was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was placed in intensive care in critical condition.

But on Thursday, there were numerous positive updates regarding Hamlin’s health. The team announced that Hamlin showed “remarkable improvement” and that he was “neurologically intact.” Additionally, it was revealed that Hamlin was able to move his hands and feet, and communicate through writing.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott spoke with the media on Thursday at the facility, and was joined by quarterback Josh Allen.

Everything Sean McDermott, Josh Allen said at Bills press conference regarding Damar Hamlin

McDermott started the press conference by saying that Hamlin was their No. 1 concern. He also thanked numerous individuals to start off the press conference, including the UC Medical Center, the team, the Bengals, fans, and the media.

Allen then spoke, where he praised McDermott’s leadership during the situation. He also talked about what it was like being on the field with Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest, and he was choked up when speaking.

“Being on that field…you lose sleep, you hurt for your brother. A lot of shared grief,” said Allen. “Getting updates, and positive updates, eases so much of that pain and that tension that you feel. But coach [McDermott] handled it as perfect as anybody could.”

McDermott revealed that he spoke with the captains of the team when they went to the locker room after Hamlin’s medical situation and gave them the option finishing the game. He was then told by Allen and the captains that they were not comfortable playing in the game.

After dealing with the emotions following Hamlin’s situation, McDermott told the media that “mental health is real,” and that they have offered more counselors to be available for players and staff who were in need of them.

McDermott said that Hamlin’s father, Mario, spoke with the team on Thursday morning to update them on what’s going on. He also revealed that Mario told the team to “get back to the goals they set for themselves,” because Damar would have wanted it that way.

Additionally, Allen said that he spoke to Mario, who told him “my son’s gonna be alright.”

When asked about whether the team was ready to play on Sunday, Allen said “I do” and that Hamlin’s father “demanded” them to play, saying they will honor his request.

McDermott said that the environment at Highmark Stadium for the team’s game against the New England Patriots on Sunday will be “unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”

McDermott gave praise for Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington, who administered CPR to Hamlin while he was on the field, and it saved his life.

“For an assistant to find himself at that position and needing to take the action that he did and step up and take charge like he did, and there were others on the field as well, is nothing short of amazing and the courage that that took. You talk about a real leader, a real hero, in saving Damar’s life. [I] admire his strength.”

When the press conference ended, Allen took time to show his support for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, who collided with Hamlin in the Week 17 game.

“I hope that he got some relief today,” said Allen. “I saw some stuff on Twitter, and people should not be attacking him whatsoever. I’m glad that Damar’s family came out and said that, and hopefully he found some relief today, because that’s a football play and I hope that he doesn’t hold that upon himself because there’s nothing else he could have done in that situation.”

Cornerback Dane Jackson and center Mitch Morse spoke with the media after McDermott and Allen were finished with their session.

When asked about going back out to play on Monday night, Morse said that there was “no way in hell we were ready to go out there and play,” and gave his appreciation to McDermott for allowing the players to make the decision.

Jackson said that Hamlin’s parents were sitting behind Buffalo’s bench area when the injury happened, and helped them make their way to the tunnel to be with him.

When asked about Hamlin asking the doctors if the Bills won, Jackson said that he “wouldn’t expect anything else, honestly” and called him a “true warrior” and “a fighter.”

Jackson said that in terms of the team’s support and training staff, he “wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Next. Everything to know about Damar Hamlin’s recovery. dark