ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Safety Damar Hamlin watched his first Buffalo Bills game from his home in Buffalo since being discharged from the hospital, tweeting along and supporting the team from afar Sunday as it began the postseason with a 34-31 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Hamlin tweeted on Sunday, "My heart is with my guys as they compete today! Supporting from home as I focus on my recovery. Nothing I want more than to be out there with them!"
He also included a video of him pumping up the crowd at the team's victory over the Dolphins in Week 15.
While he couldn't be there for the game, his first visit to the team's practice facility in Orchard Park, since he suffered cardiac arrest almost two weeks ago, on Saturday positively impacted the Bills in a big way.
"That was special for the whole team, because everybody just ran up and just bombarded each other trying to get to see him and hug him," cornerback Kaiir Elam said. "And I think that was very special and it lifted a lot of spirits as well."
Hamlin attended the team's walk-through on Saturday with his parents, Mario and Nina, and his 7-year-old brother, Damir. Hamlin and his family sat in one end zone during the walk-through, and cornerback Tre'Davious White said players went over and talked to him for a minute before the walk-through started, and the cornerback, along with others, was able to hug Hamlin as he had been wanting to.
"It was refreshing man, just to see him, just to see the smile and just touch him," White said. "... Just to see what we experienced the last two weeks, man. So, it was great to see him, it gave us a lot of a lot of juice, too, so that was that was a great sight to see."
White said Hamlin's presence, seeing him walk and smile, even "juiced up" the players for the walk-through, something they typically are "never juiced up for."
Coach Sean McDermott said word traveled quickly around the team's facility that Hamlin was in the building and by the end of the walk-through, everyone had come to say to hello to him. McDermott said that "being the team guy that he is," Hamlin tried to be under the radar, but word got around.
Quarterback Josh Allen described there being a "a big line of guys ready to love up on him," and said he was also able to give Hamlin a "a big ol' hug."
Safety Dean Marlowe said players had the opportunity to ask him questions on how he was feeling and just be around him.
"For him to be in the building, man, it brought smiles and happy tears to everybody in the building," Marlowe said. "Just to see him walking around healthy, recovering well. ... All we needed was to see his face and see him walking around. Once we knew he was healthy, we kind of had a weight lifted off our shoulders, but then actually seeing him in person, it was amazing, man. Every guy on the team just was so happy to see him."
The field at Highmark Stadium had the No. 3 on the 30-yard lines on the field outlined in blue for a second straight game, honoring Hamlin.
Hamlin, 24, was released Monday after a nearly weeklong stay at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after suffering a cardiac arrest during the first quarter of the Bills' "Monday Night Football" game against the Bengals on Jan. 2. The game was initially postponed after Hamlin collapsed on the field. It was then canceled days later.
Hamlin was flown to Buffalo and admitted to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, where he spent two days. He went through a series of comprehensive medical evaluations as well as cardiac, neurological and vascular testing Tuesday.
During the week, coach Sean McDermott said that he would let Hamlin decide when he would return to the facility, putting his health first, but added that the team would "welcome him back" when he feels ready.
While Hamlin continues to recover, the Bills' postseason journey will also move forward, and the support that members of team have had for one another has gone a long way.
"We were able to just come together," Marlowe said. "No matter what -- a team, a company -- it's just when things are tough, you gotta lean on people. You got to. You know, no person is superhuman. And we all need people. So, just the great leadership from up top and the leaders on our team, it's a domino effect. And we all trust in one another. And we believe in one another."