More than seven months had passed since Damar Hamlin last took a snap in an NFL game, since the safety suffered cardiac arrest, collapsed on the field and then captivated fans — and the country — with his incredible recovery.
Hamlin took the latest step in his recovery Saturday by checking into the game for the Bills’ second defensive series in their preseason opener against the Colts, and he even ended Indianapolis’ drive with a fourth-and-1 tackle to force a turnover on downs.
He made two additional tackles and blitzed on the next possession, too.
That aligned with what head coach Sean McDermott told the Associated Press heading into the game, that Hamlin was scheduled to play with the extent — and the exact moment — unknown.
The Bills used starting safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer on their first series, which ended when cornerback Dane Jackson intercepted Colts rookie Anthony Richardson.
Then, Hamlin checked in, and when Colts running back Evan Hull tried to dive past the line of scrimmage on fourth down, Hamlin was one of the Bills who prevented the first down.