Damar Hamlin competed in the Buffalo Bills’ preseason opener on Saturday, marking the safety’s first taste of competitive action since he suffered a cardiac arrest during an NFL game in early January.
After Buffalo scored a touchdown early in the first quarter of their home game versus the Indianapolis Colts, Hamlin came on the field to join the kickoff team and later played on defense where he made an immediate impact.
On his second defensive snap, Hamlin was credited with a solo tackle of running back Evan Hull for no gain, denying the Colts from converting a fourth-and-one at the Bill’s 40-yard line.
The 25-year-old Hamlin then made tackles on two consecutive plays during the Bills’ next defensive series.
Prior to the game, the NFL posted on social media saying “Welcome back, @HamlinIsland” along with a video that showed Hamlin arriving at the team’s stadium and flashing a heart-shaped gesture with his hands.
Hamlin collapsed during a Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals moments after making a tackle and was resuscitated on the field, all in front of a packed stadium and national television audience.
He was discharged from hospital nine days after his cardiac arrest, and his remarkable recovery captivated the sporting world.