It has been a harrowing, terrifying, and yet oddly optimistic time for the Buffalo Bills.
On Sunday, just shy of a week after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a football showdown between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills returned to the field and won against the New England Patriots.
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But that was only a bonus to the amazing news Hamlin is recovering and was able to watch the game from his hospital bed, sharing in the joy the 35-23 victory brought.
Hamlin’s healing has been an answer to prayer for a nation on the edge of its seat, wondering if the 24-year-old player — whose initial medical state was dire — would pull through.
That emotional toll was palpable, particularly after the Bills’ win Sunday. Quarterback Josh Allen delivered an emotional statement and gave God all the glory.
“It was just spiritual … I was going around my team and saying, ‘God’s real,'” Allen said. “You can’t draw that one, write that one up any better.”
He continued, as he got emotional, “It’s been three years and three months since the last kickoff return.”
Allen was addressing the first play of the game, a 96-yard kickoff return — a resulting touchdown that left the Bills in celebration. The significance here, of course, is Hamlin’s number, which is 3.
Watch the stunning play, which commentators called “storybook”:
With the players coming out donning Hamlin’s number, Allen clearly saw significance in the fact it had also been three years and three months since that last kickoff return.
Allen also said during the post-game news conference he can’t remember another play that impacted him in such a profound way.
“You want the truth? It was spiritual. It really was,” he said. “Bone-chilling. It was special. I can’t remember a play that touched me like that in my life.”
The Bills’ official Twitter account echoed this sentiment, tweeting the clip of Allen’s comments alone with the line, “[Three] is a special number.”
It’s a true moment of hope and rejoicing after a terrifying ordeal that could have claimed Hamlin’s life. Continue praying for the player’s recovery and a complete restoration of health.
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