Damar Hamlin is in the building.
The Bills safety, who went into cardiac arrest three weeks ago during a game in Cincinnati, made an appearance at the team’s Divisional Round playoff game against the Bengals at Highmark Stadium, with the CBS pregame broadcast showing Hamlin on a security cart in the leadup to the game. Hamlin’s family is also in attendance.
Watch every game of the NFL Postseason including the Super Bowl, LIVE on ESPN on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Hamlin got a big ovation from the crowd during the first half and he repeatedly raised his arms in response.
The 24-year-old then visited his teammates in the locker room at halftime with the Bills down 17-7, according to CBS.
It is his first public appearance since being resuscitated, although Hamlin has posted regularly on Instagram and, according to Bills coach Sean McDermott, has been a regular at the team facility.
McDermott said this week that Hamlin is “dipping his toe back in here and getting on the road to just being himself,” and Hamlin’s marketing representative told the Associated Press (AP) this week that the road to recovery is still long.
“Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects,” Jordon Rooney said, per the AP.
“Although he is able to visit the team facility, Damar is not in a position to travel often, and requires additional rest to help his body heal.”
Mahomes LIMPS OFF in Jaguars playoff | 00:56
INJURY UPDATE: Scan reveals full extent of NFL megastar’s injury … there’s good and bad news for the Chiefs
FREE AGENCY NEWS: Teammate spills on Brady’s next move as monster $538m deal remains on the table
‘GO BE WITH YOUR KIDS, TOM’: NFL rival urges Brady to ‘please’ retire after ‘hard to watch’ playoff exit
TRADE NEWS: A ‘groundbreaking’ $333m move shocked the NFL. Now it could trigger an ‘ugly’ divorce
To this point, Hamlin’s recovery from a near-death experience has been stunning. Not only is he walking, talking and able to breathe on his own, but Hamlin was discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center on January 12 (AEDT).
It is fitting that his first time being able to watch the Bills in person comes against the Bengals, who were Buffalo’s opponent when Hamlin collapsed during the first quarter of a January 2 (AEDT) game while tackling receiver Tee Higgins. That game was canceled by the NFL after Hamlin was taken to the hospital in Cincinnati.
Higgins said Friday (AEDT) he hoped that Hamlin would be able to attend the game.
“Just happy to see him,” Higgins told reporters.
“I haven’t really spoken to him. Just letting his family do what he needs to do with all his loved ones.”
Despite his team going on to lose the game 27-10 and have their season officially ended, it was a great sight to see Hamlin cheering his team on.
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and has been reposted with permission