Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was shown on CBS’s “The NFL Today” pregame show entering the Bills’ locker room at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Sunday, three weeks after his on-field collapse and near death.
Hamlin, 24, was driven in a cart to the locker and was wearing sunglasses and a jacket, sold through his Chasing M’s clothing line, with the hood pulled up. CBS also showed the arrival at the stadium of two people the broadcast reported to be Hamlin’s mother Nina and his younger brother.
The Bills team Twitter account also posted video of his entrance with the message, “Welcome home, @HamlinIsland,” tagging Hamlin’s account.
Buffalo plays the Cincinnati Bengals at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.
The arrival represents Hamlin’s first public appearance since he collapsed after making a tackle in the first quarter of the Bills-Bengals game on January 2. Doctors and trainers gave Hamlin CPR on the field and he was rushed out of the stadium in an ambulance, leaving players, coaches, fans and those watching on TV in shock and unsure whether he was alive.
Medical officials said he suffered a cardiac arrest, meaning his heart abruptly stopped beating. The game was postponed and ultimately canceled.
Since then, Hamlin has made remarkable progress, and he was discharged from a Buffalo medical center on January 11.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott told reporters Wednesday that Hamlin has been at the team facility almost daily.
“It’s limited, just overall, but he comes in and – it really just started really today or yesterday – just trying to get back to a little bit of a routine, just getting himself acclimated again, taking it one baby step at a time,” McDermott said.
Still, Hamlin’s longtime friend and business partner Jordon Rooney told CNN Hamlin still has a “lengthy recovery” ahead.
“Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly. He has visited with the team a few times but he still gets winded very easily,” Rooney said. “He’s upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this.”