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Pitt in the Pros

Damar Hamlin Returned to the Field Against the Denver Broncos



Pitt defensive back Damar Hamlin.

Damar Hamlin was active in the Buffalo Bills’ 48-20 win against the Miami Dolphins earlier this season, but he didn’t see the field. He finally returned to action Monday night.

10 months after Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest at Paycor Stadium on Monday Night Football, Hamlin returned to NFL action as a reserve safety for the Bills in a heartbreaking loss to the Denver Broncos — and he even recorded a tackle in the process.

Hamlin received a steady workload on the Bills’ final defensive possession, and with time ticking away on a 1st-and-10 play in the fourth quarter, Hamlin tackled Broncos’ tight end Adam Trautman along the sideline to get back into the action.

And, unlike some chatter on social media claimed, Hamlin was not on the field when the Bills were called for an illegal formation penalty on the Broncos’ missed game-winning field goal attempt.

Hamlin, whose return to the football field should be the only thing remembered (aside from a solo tackle) on a triumphant night, had been waiting to make his return in a deep secondary room.

Hamlin recorded 91 tackles (63 solo), six tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble in 15 games last season — starting every game in the Bills’ secondary from Week 3 onward. And he served a key role in the Buffalo secondary before his freak injury.

Hamlin originally committed to Pitt as a four-star recruit out of Pittsburgh Central Catholic, choosing Pitt over an offer from just about every major college in the country, and he would grow into one of the top safeties in college football during his time in Pittsburgh.

In five seasons at Pitt, he recorded 275 tackles (185 solo), 10 tackles for loss, six interceptions, 21 pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

With a successful return to the football field, despite not serving as a starter in the Bills’ secondary, he’s in a good position to fight for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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