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NFL-All teams to let Hamlin know they're thinking of him

Reuters · 01/06/2023 14:08
NFL-All teams to let Hamlin know they're thinking of him

By Steve Keating

- The entire National Football League will let Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin know he is in their thoughts this weekend, the NFL said on Friday, with league-wide displays of support for the player who remains hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest during a game earlier this week.

As the NFL enters the final weekend of the regular season, Hamlin has become the sport's most talked about player, with fans around the world rallying behind the 24-year-old who collapsed after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday.

Hamlin, who had to have his heartbeat restored on the field, spent most of the week on a ventilator in a Cincinnati hospital intensive care unit. He was taken off the ventilator overnight and spoke to the team on Friday morning.

The NFL has distributed a pre-game announcement that all clubs are encouraged to read prior to the anthem acknowledging Hamlin and the first responders and medical caregivers who came to his aid.

All clubs will be allowed to outline Hamlin's jersey "3" on each 30-yard line of the field in either Buffalo Bills red or blue. During warm-ups, players throughout the league will have the option to wear black t-shirts displaying "Love for Damar 3".

The Bills, who host the New England Patriots in their final regular season game on Sunday, will wear "3" patches on their jerseys.

"It says a lot about our league... I don't think I've ever seen that," Bills general manager (GM) Brandon Beane said of the planned league-wide displays during a conference on Friday.

"We go into battle but in the end, life is the one battle," Beane said. "To see that unity - players, coaches, GMs, owners, fans - is unheard of, but I think it sheds a great light on the NFL. The NFL is truly a family."

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

((steve.keating@thomsonreuters.com; +1 647-624-4094; Reuters Messaging: steve.keating.reuters.com@reuters.))