AFC East Japan Reporter
When asked about Dummer Hamlin, Josh Allen said the Buffalo Bills’ safety was “the happiest man.” And Hamlin, much to the delight of NFL fans, has been in written contact with doctors and holding hands with his family.
Allen asked the question Thursday afternoon after Hamlin awoke from days of sedation after suffering a cardiac arrest during Monday night’s Bills Bengals game.
It is with great pleasure to receive the news that Hamlin is improving.
We’ve learned a lot about Hamlin in the last few days. In every way he looks like an extraordinary person. He is someone who overcame tremendous adversity in a difficult neighborhood growing up in Pennsylvania. And even as a 24-year-old newcomer, the young man already had the maturity to emphasize what his family meant to him.
“I love the family unit. My mom, dad, brother, it’s my whole world…everything else going on in my life revolves around them,” Hamlin said. told Bills team reporter Maddie Grab in December. “Whether I accept it or not, I don’t do too much without my mom and dad’s input. But I just want to hear it. That’s how I was raised.”
That’s a good head on his shoulder.
I say distraught to see Hamlin go down on the field. I had a hard time sleeping Monday night and spent the whole week thinking about him. I know many in the NFL community feel the same way. So I can only imagine how his teammates feel. They know Hamlin. They are in the locker room with him every day. He’s definitely a close friend and, in some cases, like the brother of these Bills players.
That’s why Bills coach Sean McDermott’s demeanor and decision making throughout this process have been so impressive.
It began shortly after Hamlin received resuscitation on the field at Peycoe Stadium on Monday before an ambulance took him to the hospital.
McDermott immediately told Bengals coach Zach Taylor, “I need to go to the hospital. I shouldn’t be coaching this game.”
McDermott knew his players needed to get off the field. Game could not continue. And McDermott knew he needed to go to that hospital to be with Hamlin.
And those are just the right priorities.
We don’t have much information in the hours and days that followed, but we do know that McDermott and the Bills ensured that mental health professionals were available to players who needed help.
Again, these are just the right priorities.
Whether he’s taking McDermott’s lead or acting instinctively, Allen made sure to take care of his teammates as well. welcomed
And even now, McDermott stressed that he needed to know when to take a break. and when to ask for help.
It’s easy to immerse yourself in work. It’s easy to avoid, postpone, or distract.
But that’s not what McDermott did. He took the initiative and made players stop recognizing and handling very difficult situations.
“A lot of tears of joy,” Allen said.
But it’s not over. Hamlin has a long way to go. Hopefully he continues to improve and makes a full recovery.
Football may seem digestible at this very moment, because there’s good news. But it certainly won’t be easy for the Bills to go about their daily lives with Hamlin’s recovery on the back of their minds.
“We still have some things to discuss and work out,” Allen said Thursday.
In the next few days, the Bills will have to play their home games in front of a very emotional crowd.
“The stadium is going to be very emotional and I think it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve seen before,” McDermott said. “And I think we need to strike that balance.”
But we get the sense that the bill will be fine on Sunday and for the next few weeks and months. He’s doing what he can to take care of himself — making sure players take care of themselves.
And that’s a great example of leadership.
Prior to joining FOX Sports as an AFC East reporter, Henry McKenna spent seven years covering the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter. @ Macken analysis.
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