On January 2, 2023, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins were involved in one of the scariest moments in NFL history. Just four months later, the two peers
Facing the Bengals on Monday Night Football in early January, Higgins lowered his shoulder after making a catch and collided with Hamlin’s chest. The Bills’ safety made the tackle then got up before falling backwards seconds later and remaining motionless on the ground.
Related: Damar Hamlin cleared for football activity
Hamlin had gone into cardiac arrest, caused by commotion cordis. It happens when there is a direct blow near the heart, causing cardiac arrest. While the incident rate is extremely low and almost non-existent in football, Hamlin’s life was saved by the medical staff on the field and the doctors at the hospital.
- Damar Hamlin stats (2022): 63 solo tackles, 6 TFLs, 1.5 sacks
Fortunately, Hamlin is making a full recovery and there is strong confidence he could resume his NFL career as early as the 2023 season. In the meantime, he has reunited with Higgins in a moment the entire football community has been waiting for.
Higgin’s teammate, Tyler Boyd, recently made a post on Instagram showing them hanging out with Hamlin in the desert. As first reported by the Democrat & Chronicle, it’s the first time Hamlin and Higgins have been around one another since the moment on the field.
It’s something everyone involved wanted to happen. Higgins was distraught in the locker room after Hamlin was rushed to the hospital, fearing the worst and just praying he made a full recovery. He told reporters days later that once Hamlin was healthy, he wanted nothing more than to spend time with him.
Related: Damar Hamlin meets with Joe Biden
While it was a difficult time for the Bills’ organization and Hamlin’s family, they always showed support for Higgins during a time when he was emotionally distraught. Hamlin’s family strongly defended Higgins in the face of criticism and Buffalo’s fans made a wave of donations to the AXE ALS Foundation, which Higgins has publicly and promoted in honor of his agent’s father, who passed away from ALS.
Higgins promised in January there would be “laughs and giggles” the next time he saw Hamlin. Clearly, they had all of that and more during a fun day in the desert.