The Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs showed their support for Damar Hamlin ahead of the first NFL game since the Buffalo Bills’ safety collapse.
The Bills said Saturday that Hamlin was making “continuing progress” but remained in “critical condition.”
The Raiders and Chiefs players wore black T-shirts with “Love for Damar” and a three – Hamlin’s jersey number – before their game.
Superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes wore a top with a Bills player graphic and “Hamlin strong” written on it before the Chiefs’ final regular season game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Hamlin’s name and number were displayed on screens inside and outside the stadium, while the number three on the 30-yard mark had an outline painted in blue, one of the Bills colors.
The Bills will wear number three on their jerseys when they host the New England Patriots on Sunday in their first game since Hamlin’s fall to the Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio.
Hamlin had his breathing tube removed and in a tweet, the Bills quoted his doctors as saying his neurological function remains intact and he was able to talk to his family and care team.
The Bills added: “He continues to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent.”
The NFL canceled the Bills game against the Bengals following the incident.
NFL owners thereafter approved modifications to the structure of AFC dams as the outcome of the match would have affected the play-off standings, with both teams having already secured post-season berths.
The Bills and Bengals will have their postseason positions determined by their winning percentage in their 16 completed games — instead of the full 17 — after the final round of games this weekend.
The AFC Championship Game could be played at a neutral site if the home team would normally have been settled by the result of the canceled game between the Bengals and Bills.
Hamlin, who has been in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said had his breathing tube removed and is now able to speak.
He joined a meeting with his team via Facetime on Friday and said, “I love you boys.”
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. He fell with his back to the ground after the collision and received more than 30 minutes of on-field medical treatment, during which he was resuscitated once, according to the player’s friend and marketing agent Jordon Rooney.
Support for the Bills sophomore has poured in since the accident.
A GoFundMe page for a toy drive started by Hamlin has raised over $7m (£5.9m).
Several NFL players have donated to the cause, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.
Hamlin was drafted into the NFL in 2021 from the University of Pittsburgh, where he played college football.