Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs opened up about his immediate reaction when teammate Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
During the latest episode of Uninterrupted’s “The Shop,” Diggs questioned whether he wanted to keep playing if the game resumed.
After the traumatic event, neither team knew if it would continue playing. Diggs decided to do his best to rally his Bills teammates and encouraged them to play for Hamlin.
The game was ultimately suspended and later canceled.
Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills reacts after teammate Damar Hamlin was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
“Of course, they ultimately ended the game … which was probably in the best interest,” Diggs told “The Shop” co-host Maverick Carter.
Diggs added that he believed Hamlin would have wanted his Bills teammates to keep playing.
“But, in that moment, if we had to go back out there, I know Damar would’ve wanted us to play … because when he came to finally, his first words were, ‘Did we win?’
“I was a little iffy. I was like ‘Damn, am I messed up for wanting to get guys to play?’ Obviously, some guys couldn’t. But then when he woke up and said ‘Did we win,’ it was reassuring that I know he has a winning spirit. I knew my little bro would’ve wanted me to go bump with them, not go and leave.”
At another point in the discussion, the three-time Pro Bowler mentioned Hamlin’s injury as he explained the physicality that comes with playing in the NFL.
“For people who feel a way about [football], I’ve got to put it into perspective for you,” Diggs said. “Our Damar Hamlin situation, when we kind of damn near lost somebody on the field. That’s how physical it is. That’s how serious it is. So, when people refer to it as a game, I like to say, ‘I’m not out there playing.'”
Buffalo Bills players and staff kneel after Damar Hamlin sustained an injury during the first quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
After receiving emergency medical attention on the field from the Bills staff, Hamlin was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was placed on a ventilator.
Diggs later visited the hospital.
Hamlin attended the Bills divisional round playoff game against the Bengals 20 days after he went into cardiac arrest.
Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin leaves the field after a game against the New England Patriots Dec. 1, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper, File)
The Bills placed Hamlin on injured reserve. Despite his stint on the IR, the Bills reached an agreement with the NFL and the NFL Players Association to pay his full salary.
Hamlin spoke publicly for the first time since the events in Cincinnati Jan. 28. He has made an incredible recovery but still faces a long road ahead.
NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer vowed that Hamlin will play football again.
“I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again,” Mayer said on SiriusXM Doctor Radio’s “Heart to Heart” show in February.