Damar Hamlin Fight Continues…Could Get Cut By Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills' safety Damar Hamlin had to fight for his life, surrounded by his teammates, on national television. Thankfully, Hamlin won that fight and the world got to see the terrific person that wears #3 for the Buffalo Bills. However, all of the global support he received may not be able to save Hamlin's roster spot.
Could the Buffalo Bills actually cut Damar Hamlin? Absolutely. Hamlin will enter Bills' training camp in a battle for the fourth-safety position, on a roster that usually only keeps four safeties. Veteran defensive stars, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are the leading candidates to be head coach Sean McDermott's starting duo. General manager Brandon Beane filled the team's third spot, with free-agent Taylor Rapp from the Los Angelas Rams. Beyond football, this is a complicated situation for Hamlin.
Former NFL defensive end, Devon Still went through a heart-wrenching, very public situation when his 4-year old daughter, Leah was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma (now in remission) back in 2014. Still told Tim Graham of theathletic.com, “The pressure society will put on him to go out there and make the 53-man roster is going to be difficult. There’s a lot of pressure on players without national media coverage. Now, with everybody watching you? You think you’re mentally prepared to go out there and play football, but it doesn’t really show until you step onto the field.” As training camp begins on Wednesday, Hamlin will begin his new fight.
Stills reflected on the obstacles that Damar Hamlin will face. “If he has a bad day of practice or a bad preseason game, the doubts could creep in. And that can be OK for most guys, but it’s a complex situation he’s going through right now. Everybody loves a comeback story, but oftentimes people aren’t interested in that middle part. They want you to go from tragedy to triumph without recognizing the grief and the pressure and the pain the player might go through. If he is hurting, he may be afraid to speak up about it because we want to be that warrior for our teammates and our fans.” Battling those mental hurdles, while trying to fight for a roster spot, will not be easy for Hamlin. However, those closest the Bills' safety are confident in his ability to overcome tremendous obstacles.
Hamlin's agent, Ira Turner told The Athletic, “He’s definitely capable of coming back and being that same guy he was prior to January 3 in terms of his aggressiveness. There’s not going to be any kind of falloff there. Everybody will see that once football starts.” That may be easy to say but it will certainly be another difficult situation for a very special football player that will be in NFL fans' hearts for a long time.