Damar Hamlin Returns to NFL Play, First Game Since Cardiac Arrest

The Buffalo Bills' safety took to the field just over seven months after a terrifying medical emergency.

Damar Hamlin made his triumphant return to NFL play on his home field as the Buffalo Bills took on the Indianapolis Colts Saturday (Aug. 12).

Hamlin, 25, made three solo tackles in the home preseason matchup, according to Bleacher Report. The safety also assisted on a tackle on a 3rd-and-1 stop and pushed Colts running back Evan Hull to force a turnover-on-downs.

"It was super fun," Hamlin told the press after his first game back. "It was a great experience. Just another milestone and a step up just getting back to myself as far as in the football space and in the NFL."

"Just my first few plays in being pressures, and there's my number being called," Hamlin said. "So, all of the jitters, all the nerves, that was like out the window right there, like right then and there. But it was good for me. It was able to get me going."

Related: Damar Hamlin Is Planning For a Comeback As He’s Cleared To Return To NFL

Hamlin collapsed in January during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. CPR was administered to him on the field for multiple minutes and he was placed in the ambulance and taken off the field 16 minutes after the incident.

Fans and other athletes sent prayers and support to Hamlin, who made a remarkable recovery over the last seven months. He was cleared to return to play in April. Following this weekend's game, he made it clear that the choice to get back on the field was his alone.

Related: Damar Hamlin: 3 Things To Know About The Buffalo Bills Player

"When you step in between those lines, you're putting yourself at risk by hesitating and reserving yourself," Hamlin said. "So, I made the choice that I wanted to play, it wasn't anybody else's choice but mine, so making that choice, I know what comes with it. So when you see my cleats laced up and my helmet and shoulder pads on, I'm going to go with no hesitation.”

“Because you can't play this game like that, you'll put yourself at more risk if you hesitate. I'm out there just not thinking twice, just playing my game how I was taught to play since I was my little brother's age."

Of making his first tackle in months, Hamlin said, "It for sure felt like a little weight off my shoulders. I think it'll be like that probably every game. But even before my situation it's kind of like that, we all get butterflies until we get that first contact. That's universal for being an athlete, that just lets you know you're human, that just lets you know you live in the moment."

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