Damar Hamlin says winning NFL Comeback Player of the Year would be ‘super special,’ talks 2024 goals


Damar Hamlin heads into the 2024 NFL Honors on Thursday evening in Las Vegas because the front-runner to win Comeback Participant of the 12 months.

The Buffalo Bills security suffered cardiac arrest and practically died on the sector throughout a sport in opposition to the Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati on Jan. 2, 2023. However a month later, Hamlin stunned everybody on the 2023 NFL Honors when he walked onstage to obtain the Alan Web page Group Award.

Much more inspiring was Hamlin making the 53-man roster this previous season – simply months after presumably needing to stroll away from the sport.

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Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Payments seems to be on earlier than the sport in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on Nov. 5, 2023, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Dylan Buell/Getty Photos)

So, if he’s awarded the Comeback Participant of the 12 months, he is aware of it is a fruits of his exhausting work and willpower. 

“It will likely be an honor,” Hamlin informed Fox Information Digital on Thursday whereas discussing his partnership with Bounty and their “Final Wingman” promotion alongside Payments teammate Dane Jackson. “To be amongst all these nice gamers who received that award, all the nice gamers who received any award up there, will probably be tremendous particular, tremendous honorable.”

Hamlin’s well being state of affairs garnered nationwide consideration as your complete nation rallied round him, hoping his restoration would lead him again to the sector. 

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However it was by no means one thing Hamlin needed to do to win awards or achieve reputation.

“I by no means did it for the accolade,” he defined. “I didn’t come again to win an accolade. I got here again for the like to the sport and show one thing to myself. I set a purpose and needed to perform it.”

This mindset is one Jackson noticed on the University of Pittsburgh, the place he and Hamlin performed school soccer. Jackson, a 12 months older than Hamlin, mentioned their “bond actually took off” once they performed for the Panthers. 

Jackson was an advocate for Hamlin when it was time for the Payments to arrange for the 2021 NFL Draft, and since he was drafted within the sixth spherical, he is been by his facet ever since.

Dane Jackson celebrates with Damar Hamlin

Dane Jackson (30) of the Buffalo Payments celebrates his landing with Damar Hamlin throughout the first half in opposition to the Indianapolis Colts throughout a preseason sport on Aug. 12, 2023, at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Photos)

“To start with, I had little question he was going to make the very best restoration,” Jackson informed Fox Information Digital with Hamlin by his facet in matching inexperienced Bounty varsity jackets. “He was going to battle any battle that acquired thrown his method. He was going to profit from each alternative. His work ethic has at all times been unmatched – at all times been a pupil of the sport and true to the sport. Whenever you put these issues into the sport, you get that a lot again.”

“Like I’ve mentioned earlier than, there’s no offense to the opposite candidates. I’m fairly certain they’re deserving in their very own methods. Me seeing the within, me seeing what he’s been via and what he’s able to doing, I feel there’s no higher particular person to win. I acquired his again, and I’m rooting for him.”

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Hamlin performed in 5 regular-season video games this season, and he suited up for the AFC Divisional Spherical matchup in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs during which he took a pretend punt try however could not convert.

He was utilized by the Payments sparingly final season for good cause, however 2024 marks the ultimate 12 months of Hamlin’s rookie contract. So, when mentioning his objectives for subsequent season, he is aware of what’s at stake.

“Yeah, man, I acquired large objectives,” Hamlin mentioned when “contract 12 months” was introduced up. “You mentioned it proper. You recognize what 12 months it’s. So, my thoughts is there.”

He would not precisely expose what these objectives have been as a result of, in his phrases, “They are saying if you spill your desires out earlier than they occur, they don’t come true.”

Damar Hamlin smiles

Damar Hamlin arrives on the Tremendous Bowl Soulful Celebration twenty fifth Anniversary at Pearl Theater on the Palms On line casino Resort on Feb. 7, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Mindy Small/Getty Photos)

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“It’s all God’s plan and God works in mysterious methods,” he mentioned.


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