Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin returned to Cincinnati on Sunday night, about 10 months after he collapsed and nearly died during a nationally televised game.
Hamlin, 25, went into cardiac arres t early in the Bills-Bengals “Monday Night Football” matchup at Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium on Jan. 2, leading the crucial Week 17 game to be declared a no contest.
He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and has since been cleared to play football again.
Hamlin has been effusive in his appreciation of the Bills’ medical team and first responders in Cincinnati who played key roles in saving his life.
He has started a charitable foundation to award scholarships to needy children in Cincinnati.
Hamlin was not on the active roster for Sunday night’s game. He’s played sparingly this season, getting into just one game so far, Buffalo’s 48-20 win Oct. 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
The scheduling of Sunday’s game is a bit of random circumstance.
NFL teams are guaranteed to play their three division opponents twice a season. The rest of the contests are based on a formul a that rotates opponents and brings parity to the league, with teams playing other clubs of similar strength.
While the Bills and the Bengals are not scheduled to meet every season, they have been consistent rivals in recent years, with Buffalo holding a 17-16 lifetime edge in a series that dates to 1968.
David K. Li
David K. Li is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.