This is what the first Bills game without Damar Hamlin looked like


After the NFL resumed play on Saturday in the wake of Damar Hamlin’s horrific injury with players praying together in midfield, his own team took the tribute to another level ahead of their own game on Sunday.

In addition to praying together and paying special tribute to their beloved safety, with star quarterback Josh Allen raising a flag, the team also started the real game with a bang, answering the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

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The start was not lost on their main audience.

Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest last Monday after a seemingly routine tackle on Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Tee Higgins, has embarked on a remarkable recovery after the nightmare stunned the sports world. He had a breathing tube removed and even spoke out earlier this week, posting updates – including encouragement for his team before the game started – on Sunday.

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While his future as a player is of course secondary to his recovery from a near-death experience, Hamlin received other good news this weekend: his contract was redone to pay him in full despite his injury.