Bills’ Damar Hamlin practices in pads for first time since cardiac arrest, says faith got him through

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Damar Hamlin is grateful to God, and to the fans.

And he isn’t shy about praising both.

Addressing the media after Buffalo’s practice Monday, his first in pads since suffering a cardiac arrest in January during a game in Cininnatti, Hamlin says his faith got him through his recovery.

“As long as your faith is stronger than your fear, you can get through anything,” he said.

He also praised the Bills Mafia for its support.

“You can go out there and have a super bad practice, and go sign some autographs, and it’ll make your day,” he said.

The crowd erupted into a roar for Hamlin’s first appearance on the practice field at St. John Fisher University on the first day of camp.

He got a cheer Monday, too, and high-fived fans as he jogged onto the field.

Head coach Sean McDermott said Sunday there’s extra significance to Hamlin taking this next step.

“Awareness is important,” he said. “You’ve got X amount of guys out here, and then we had Damar in there as well. We’re trying to make it as normal as possible, but also understanding it may not be quite as normal as we want it to be because of what’s the past. Like I said before, we’re going to support him through this, and up to this point, he’s done a phenomenal job just taking it one day at a time.”

The Bills open the regular season at the New York Jets on Monday, Sept. 11.

Be sure to follow News10NBC’s Jackson Roberts and Mat Mlodzinski for all the updates from camp.