Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin continues to recover after collapsing during his team’s regular season game against the Cincinnati Bengals in early January.
The Bills and Bengals are set to face off against each other again on Sunday in the second round of the playoffs, and it appears as though Hamlin might make an appearance at the game.
“Hamlin has been at the Bills facility since returning to Buffalo after his stay at a hospital in Cincinnati and there’s been talk that he could make an appearance at the divisional round game between the teams,” wrote Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.
Hamlin making an appearance at the game would certainly give the Bills, who are coming off a 34-31 over the Miami Dolphins in their wild-card game, an emotional advantage over the Bengals.
The 24-year-old suffered cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of the Week 17 contest. Higgins spoke about a potential conversation with Hamlin ahead of the divisional round game.
“I’m pretty sure we’re just going to chop it up, laughs and giggles and just be happy to see him,” Higgins said.
The Clemson University product spoke to Hamlin’s family after the scary incident, but he hasn’t spoken to Hamlin himself.
“Just letting his family do what he needs to do with all his loved ones and stuff like that,” Higgins said. “Hopefully I get to see him on the field Sunday and speak to him.”
Higgins and Hamlin are friends by way of Tyler Boyd, another Bengals wide receiver. Boyd brought the two together during his annual summer camp in the Pittsburgh area.
While players from the Bills and Bengals are focused on their upcoming matchup, they are also undoubtedly paying close attention to every update regarding Hamlin.
Despite making some good progress since the scary moment, Hamlin still has a long way to go in his recovery, according to Jordan Rooney, his family spokesperson.
“Despite being out of the hospital, Damar still has a lengthy recovery,” Rooney told ESPN. “Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly. He has visited with the team a few times but he still gets winded very easily.
“He’s upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this.”
Whoever wins Sunday’s contest will face off against the winner of the Kansas City Chiefs-Jacksonville Jaguars matchup for the right to represent the AFC in this season’s Super Bowl.
No matter where Hamlin is on Sunday, he’ll be rooting hard for the Bills to come out on top and continue their playoff run.