In the first quarter of Monday’s Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals game, safety Damar Hamlin made what looked like a routine tackle on wideout Tee Higgins.
What unfolded in the coming moments was nothing the world had seen before, and certainly something the players and coaches were prepared to deal with.
Watching Hamlin collapse and then being rushed to the hospital after being given CPR was felt like a nightmare to those watching — but it was indeed reality. It was a reality that these players, coaches and the related loved ones had to deal with in the moment.
One of those players involved, whom we cannot gloss over at a time like this, is Tee Higgins. The Bengals wide receiver was the one who was on the receiving end of Hamlin’s tackle before watching him collapse. The mental aspect of this situation, this week, has to be unimaginable.
Thursday, the Bills did practice in preparation for their Week 18 contest with the New England Patriots. Quarterback Josh Allen spoke to the media in a candid, soft manner and gave his thoughts on the situation at hand. But, he also made sure to show his support for Higgins.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen showed plenty of class when he made sure to give his support to Tee Higgins.
"“I do want to say one more thing. I haven’t reached out to Tee but I hope that he got some relief today,” he said. “I saw some stuff on Twitter and people should not be attacking him whatsoever. I’m glad that Damar’s family came out and said that."
Allen went on to say that there was nothing Higgins could have done in that situation to prevent that from happening.
Real quick, allow me to address those who have criticized Higgins in any way, shape or form:
You are dead wrong. There is nothing you could possibly say, that would ever make sense, in criticizing Tee Higgins for what happened to Damar Hamlin. You are heartless, gutless and spineless for even thinking such a thought — period.
Hamlin needs all of the love, support and prayers he can get. So does his family. But, do not forget to lift up Higgins and his family in your thoughts and prayers as well.
The burden he will bear for the rest of his life is heavy. The play will continue to screen in his mind for as long as he lives, and I would assume that’s not something he would wish on his worst enemy.
For Allen to come out and issue a heartfelt statement is no surprise. That’s the type of leader and peer he is. Now, we can simply continue to join Allen in supporting and praying for Hamlin’s health and well-being.