Damar Hamlin, and What is to Come With the NFL

Casey Martin, Journalist

What happened last Monday Night on January 2nd, 2023 was a football worst-case scenario. The score was 7-3 in the Bengals v.s. Bills game where Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins hit Damar Hamlin in the center of the chest where Damar made the tackle. That wasn’t the scary part, the scary part was when seconds later after the play Damar stood up and then collapsed onto the field. He was given CPR and then later taken in an ambulance to a hospital. Although as of when this was written Damar is recovering well and off a ventilator and has all brain function it poses some questions of what the NFL needs to deal with. Is there a way we can increase player safety? And what has happened to the Bills-Bengals game since it was canceled? 

 In the case of Damar for player safety there is, to be honest not much that can be done. What Physicians think happened was Commotio Cordis. Commotio Cordis is where typically younger people get hit in the middle of the chest at a certain point of when the heart is beating and causes it to go out of control. This is very rare and something that can’t really be controlled so there isn’t much the NFL can do on their end to prevent that. 

Now the second question of what is going to happen to the Bills-Bengals game is that it is canceled and not to be played. This poses some problems in playoff positioning where both the Bengals and the Bills could have been the number 1 seed in the AFC but now the Bills only have a chance but it would require the Chiefs to lose which isn’t likely. I personally think that this wasn’t a good idea and the game should be played after week 18 to find another solution. I don’t think that it is fair to either of the teams as positioning can be very important to a playoff run. Especially the number 1 as it gives the number one seed a bye week. 

In the end, these questions shouldn’t be the name thing to come out of what happened that Monday night. I should be about Damar Hamlin and his further recovery for what was a scary event for us watching on national television. All in all, I hope Damar heals, and maybe someday if doctors allow him to make an NFL return and play the game he surely loves.