Chiefs discuss impact of Damar Hamlin’s collapse
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - If you drive by GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium this week, you’ll notice a lot of blue in place of Chiefs red.
That’s a tribute to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest on the field during the Monday Night Football matchup against the Bengals in Cincinnati after making a tackle.
“It sent chills through my body when I was watching it,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. “All I did was just sit there and pray for him, because that’s all you can do when you feel like you can’t help.”
“It’s tough to see,” added Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling. “It’s tough to sleep at night because that could have been any one of us.”
“That was really scary,” remarked Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill. “It definitely touched me when I was watching it, and I was praying for him all night.”
The Chiefs typically make players available for interviews every day they practice but, out of respect, they canceled that on Tuesday. They spoke publicly about it for the first time Wednesday.
“You get around your teammates and you just tell them how much you appreciate them, because you don’t do that enough,” Mahomes said.
The team chaplain led the team in a prayer at practice. Head Coach Andy Reid said he and the players are sending the message to each other that support is there.
“We didn’t tiptoe around it,” he emphasized. “We addressed it with the team. Talked to them. And, they know they have counsel there if they need it.”
Thornhill plays the same position as Hamlin. He said he’ll play as fast and physical as ever at this coming Saturday game against the Raiders.
“I feel like what happened with him was like a freakish accident and that’s something that you can’t control,” he reasoned.
Mahomes said he’ll play like he always does. That’s his job. But, what happened Monday has put some things into perspective.
“I think you get caught up through a season of ‘how can I get myself better to win a game’ instead of just taking in every single day and taking it for what it is, and it’s not promised,” Mahomes said. “All I can do is come in here and give everything I have and then, when I go home, just appreciate my family.”
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