There was an outpouring of league-wide support for Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during last Monday's game against the Bengals, as NFL as teams and players geared up for Week 18's slate of games on Sunday.
Appreciation for Hamlin was shown in different many ways. During arrivals and warm-ups, players donned Hamlin's No. 3 jersey from both the Bills and the University of Pittsburgh, and many wore black T-shirts displaying "Love for Damar 3." Leading up to kickoff, NFL stadiums held a moment of silence and teams met at midfield for a moment of prayer in recognition of Hamlin's ongoing recovery.
For the Buffalo Bills' home game at Highmark Stadium against the Patriots, there was a special acknowledgement pregame for the medical staff who helped save Hamlin's life on Monday night. Bills players then took the field to a rousing ovation as a few of his teammates held flags flying Hamlin's No. 3 as they ran out of the tunnel. During the game, the Bills donned "3" hats on the sidelines and wore "3" jersey patches for the game in honor of Hamlin.
The league-wide affection for Hamlin even continued on the field during games, as clubs both home and away outlined the "3" in each 30-yard line number on the field in either Buffalo Bills Red or Buffalo Bills Blue.
Hamlin posted Saturday on social media, in his first public comments since Monday's harrowing events, that the love he has received "has been overwhelming." He also shared an image ahead of the Bills' kickoff on Sunday:
The Bills announced on Saturday that Hamlin remains in critical condition, but is making continued progress, per physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Hamlin has been under care since Monday night. The defensive back "continues to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent."
Here are some of the moments captured over social media on Sunday as the league-wide support for Hamlin takes precedence in Week 18: