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Buffalo Bills pay tribute to personnel who aided Damar Hamlin in touching pregame moment

Damar Hamlin, Buffalo Bills

Given everything that’s happened since Buffalo Bills’ second-year safety Damar Hamlin went down with a terrifying injury that required CPR against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, it’s difficult to believe it has not even been a full week since that moment.

The emotional display of unity and empathy that was witnessed on the field at Paycor Stadium that night by both sidelines, specifically from true leaders in Bills head coach Sean McDermott and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, really set the tone for the ripple effect of unwavering support and love that would continuously be shown towards the injured Hamlin.

From that very moment, NFL Playoff scenarios and football in general appropriately took a significant backseat to everything else, with the sole concern focusing on Hamlin’s health.

Once we were given an initial update from Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn, that his nephew had improved to needing 50% oxygen — after being dependent on the full 100 percent — it felt like a victory all by itself considering Hamlin needed to be resuscitated twice on Monday night.

Related: Damar Hamlin posts to Instagram, offers thanks for the support

The subsequent updates that followed continued to ring in with more positivity. Learning that Hamlin was not only neurologically intact but also communicating with doctors through writing and asking “who won?” might have been the moment everyone began to feel a significant turn was coming.

Hamlin would soon be breathing on his own and talking to his Bills teammates, all while “Love For 3” t-shirts could be seen at almost any sporting event, including an incredibly awesome display of love and support from the neighboring Buffalo Sabres.

Hamlin’s No. 3 jersey also became the highest seller across all sports on Fanatics and his “Chasing M’s” toy drive fundraiser has now gone north of $8 million with no end in sight.

Of the endless number of thoughtful gestures we have seen throughout an intensely emotional week, what really seemed to register the most came from Hamlin’s Instagram post where he thanked the public for ‘overwhelming love’.

What he also included was a truly heartwarming screenshot from a FaceTime call with Michael Rubin (CEO of Fanatics) and rapper Meek Mill that showed the 24-year-old sporting a huge endearing smile that certainly made it feel like Hamlin had miraculously turned the corner in just six days.

Related: Buffalo Bills standing in Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings

Buffalo Bills take moment to recognize team’s medical personnel and training staff

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to kickoff against the New England Patriots on Sunday, the Bills were thoughtful enough to acknowledge the hard, tireless work of the team’s medical and training staff, announcing each name one by one as they went down the line.

Here’s a closer look at the celebrated group, who too often get overlooked in the significant role they play week in and week out.

What an incredible way to make sure those responsible for coming to the aid of Damar Hamlin got showered with cheers so very well deserved. There’s no doubt Hamlin himself was cheering along with all of Bills Mafia as each member of the staff was introduced.

Because we do know for a fact that Hamlin is locked in and watching with the kind of energy we have all come to expect from the 24-year-old safety.

There was also this special moment Josh Allen shared with his teammates before running out of the tunnel, explaining that while they always play for the name on the front, today it’s just as important to play for that No. 3 on the front too.

Buffalo Bills tweak NFL rules to pay full Damar Hamlin salary

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

As a former sixth-round pick, selected 212th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Hamlin is one of the lowest-paid players in the NFL. He still isn’t eligible for pension and post-career medical benefits, which players become eligible for after playing at least three full NFL seasons.

  • Damar Hamlin salary: $825,000 in 2022

Originally, Hamlin’s rookie contract included a clause that would institute a split-rate salary if he landed on injured reserve. Buffalo placed Hamlin on injured reserve Saturday, which would have lowered Hamlin’s salary to $455,000.

However, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Buffalo worked out an agreement with the NFL and NFL Players Association to bypass the rules. As a result, he will receive his full salary despite not ending the season on the active roster.