- Hamlin has only been in uniform for one game this year despite being healthy
- Back in Week 1 it was reported that he was inactive due to ‘a numbers crunch’
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Bills safety Damar Hamlin ran out onto the field with his fellow Buffalo defensive backs as he made an emotional return to Cincinnati on Sunday night.
Almost a year on from his cardiac arrest at Paul Brown Stadium, Hamlin returned to the very same arena as the Bills locked horns with the Bengals in their ninth NFL outing of the season.
On that terrifying night in 2022, the Buffalo star was resuscitated on the field and rushed to hospital after collapsing mid-game.
He has since made a miraculous recovery, allowing him to resume his football career with the Bills this season, and Sunday night marked his first return to Cincinnati since the terrifying incident took place.
Damar Hamlin ran out onto the field with his fellow Bills defensive backs as he made an emotional return to Cincinnati
Hamlin collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Bills’ game against the Bengals in Cincinnati 10 months ago
He was once again inactive on Sunday night and has been in uniform for one game this season
But fans in attendance even went as far as to make signs to welcome him back to Cincinnati
As he emerged from the tunnel, fans in attendance even went as far as to make signs to welcome him back to the city.
Speaking on teammate Von Miller’s podcast ‘The Von Cast’ prior to Sunday’s game, Hamlin admitted it would be an ’emotional’ evening back at Paycor Stadium.
‘I think it’s going to be super electric and I think it’s gonna be nothing but love,’ he said when asked by Miller how it will feel heading back to Cincinnati.
‘The only thing I’ve got to compare it to is going back into our stadium and how much love and reception it is.
‘So going back into there, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a bunch of memories which will make it emotional for me, but I ain’t running from it. I’m ready to walk through the fire.
Hamlin was once again inactive and has only suited up in one of Buffalo’s nine games this season.
In the one game he was in uniform for, he recorded no stats in any of the 18 special teams plays he was on the field for.
Back in Week 1, when he was declared as a healthy inactive against the New York Jets, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Hamlin was inactive due to ‘a numbers crunch’ in the defensive backfield.
Hamlin said before the game he was ready to ‘walk through the fire’ on his return to Cincinnati
Similar sentiments were also echoed by The Athletic’s Diana Russini who reported that the Bills’ decision came down to either activating Hamlin or activating a third running back for the game.
Hamlin is listed as the backup free safety to Pro Bowler Micah Hyde but has been overshadowed by Taylor Rapp as the true No. 3 safety in Buffalo.
Although Hamlin could contribute on special teams like he did during his one appearance this season, Siran Neal is considered one of the Bills star players in that facete of the game and also possess the versatility to play both cornerback as well as safety unlike Hamlin.
During pregame warmups Hamlin was also seen greeting Bengals wide outs including superstar Jamar Chase and Tee Higgins.
Higgins was the player that Hamlin hit and tackled before his cardiac arrest last season.