Tee Higgins and Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin will likely be forever linked for all the wrong reasons.
The Cincinnati Bengals receiver was the player who tackled Hamlin just before he went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field during their Monday night game on January 2 in Cincinnati. Hamlin was given CPR on the field before being rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital. The match was called off.
Medical experts believe that when the two began contact, Hamlin was suffering from commotio cordis. In the days following the event, Higgins’ teammate Tyler Boyd said he and Higgins broke up with Hamlin over some friendly nonsense leading up to the game.
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The three of them went to Boyd’s annual kids’ summer camp, and now Higgins looks forward to a possible reunion with the Buffalo Bills safety before the two teams meet in the divisional round of the playoffs on Sunday. Hamlin will not play.
“I’m pretty sure we’re just going to chop it up, laugh and giggle, and just be happy to see him,” Higgins said Thursday, less than three weeks after the creepy affair.
Higgins hasn’t spoken to Hamlin since that Monday night, but he kept in touch with Hamlin’s family while he was in the hospital.
“Just letting his family do what he needs to do with all his loved ones and stuff like that,” Higgins said. “Hopefully I will see him on the field on Sunday and speak to him.”
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That January 2 game was eventually canceled, but Higgins said knowing that Hamlin is better (he was released from the hospital last week) has helped him focus more on their upcoming playoff game.
“Just another chance to go out and be who I am, be who we are as a team,” said Higgins. “Obviously knowing what happened last time, the whole situation, knowing he’s okay now will help us in the long run.”
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The AFC divisional round between the two teams kicks off at 3 p.m. ET in Buffalo on Sunday.