Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin's push to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year can start now.
Hamlin, whose recovery from a cardiac emergency on the field last season became an inspiration for fans all over the country, has made the Buffalo Bills' 53-man roster according to NFL Media. Roster cuts were due on Tuesday and Hamlin wasn't a lock to make the team. He played second-team safety and special teams during the preseason. Hamlin's comeback story continues. He is the betting favorite to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year, even though he might not see the field that much this season.
The NFL is a cold business. If the Bills thought Hamlin wasn't one of their best 53 players, he probably wouldn't be on the roster. But the third-year safety, who started 13 games last season, earned his spot.
There have been milestones during Hamlin's return this year. He was cleared to practice, practiced in full pads and then played in Buffalo's preseason opener. It was a long journey since last Jan. 2, when Hamlin collapsed on the field after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals. He needed to be revived by medical personnel. He was taken to a hospital and the game was cancelled.
His return to Buffalo's first preseason game was a big step for his comeback.
"What we just witnessed to me is remarkable," McDermott said after the Bills' first preseason game, via NFL.com. "It really is. It's a true sign of a young man's courage and, obviously, everyone that helped him get to this point. I know there's a football game going on out there today, but I mean, truly remarkable display of courage and strength and faith."
Most players and coaches around the NFL wore "Love for Damar" shirts with Hamlin's jersey No. 3 on them the week after Hamlin's episode. Hamlin's story reached many non-football fans as well. Hamlin reached a level of fame that most players don't experience.
Hamlin can continue to share his story as a member of the Bills' active roster.