Damar Hamlin was at Highmark Stadium on Sunday afternoon, visiting his Buffalo Bills teammates before their home divisional playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals, just three weeks after he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field during Monday Night Football.
The Bills posted a video of Hamlin entering the stadium on a team golf cart before the game began. His mother and younger brother are also in attendance.
During the game, Hamlin and his family were shown on TV sitting in their suite, though due to the snow it was a little hard to see them.
Before the end of the first half, Hamlin's attendance at the game was announced to the crowd at the stadium, and the fans erupted into a standing ovation as Hamlin sent them love and encouraged them to keep cheering.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field after taking a hit directly to the chest on Jan. 2 when the Bills were playing the Bengals in Cincinnati. The Bengals' medical staff and emergency responders came to Hamlin's side within 60 seconds and had to restart his heart before giving him CPR for nearly 10 minutes, when he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The quick response of the on-site medical staff and emergency personnel saved Hamlin's life. Within a day he responded positively, and shortly after he was awake, talking and tweeting. He was watching from his hospital bed on Jan. 8 when the Bills played their first game since Hamlin's collapse, with Nyheim Hines scoring a kickoff return touchdown on the first play of the game and again later in the game.
Hamlin was discharged from the hospital in Cincinnati a week after his collapse, then spent several days in a Buffalo hospital before being discharged on Jan. 11 to continue his rehab at home. Since then, Hamlin has made frequent trips to the Bills' facility.
Hamlin's recovery thus far has been incredible, and his story has inspired coaches, players and fans all over the NFL, but it's most meaningful for the Bills. Having Hamlin back in the building during a playoff game — especially one that's a rematch of the teams that played when Hamlin originally got injured — will turn this playoff game into an important moment in Bills franchise history, no matter how it ends.