The Buffalo Bills came out strong Sunday afternoon in their game against the New England Patriots, and it was all in honor of their teammate, Damar Hamlin.
It was the first game the team had played since Hamlin collapsed on the field Monday.
The team honored Hamlin, who remains in the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest, by wearing shirts that read “Love for Damar 3.” Their helmets also featured a No. 3 decal, which is Hamlin’s number and their jerseys had the number sewn onto the front, PEOPLE reported.
The opening minutes of the pregame show was dedicated solely to Hamlin’s recovery update and support.
“We don’t play for the name on the back [of our jersey], we play for the number on the front,” Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen told the team before they headed to the field.
GameDay.. Nothing I Want More Than To Be Running Out That Tunnel With My Brothers. God Using Me In A Different Way Today. Tell Someone You Love Them Today! 🏾3️⃣ let’s go @BuffaloBills ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/XgA7S3Bpvn
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 8, 2023
Before the game, Hamlin posted to Twitter, saying, “GameDay.. Nothing I Want More Than To Be Running Out That Tunnel With My Brothers. God Using Me In A Different Way Today. Tell Someone You Love Them Today! 🏾3️⃣ let’s go @BuffaloBills ❤️💙.” He also told everyone that he was watching the game from his hospital bed.
Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott stated in an interview before the game that he had sent Hamlin a text that morning but was also trying to “give him space to rest.”