Much emphasis on the word "healthy."
The last time the Bills visited Paycor Stadium was Jan. 2, when Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the game and was resuscitated on the field before being taken by ambulance to a hospital. The horrifying scene unfolded as a national audience watched on "Monday Night Football."
Hamlin has made a remarkable recovery since then and was cleared to play in April. Sunday was the eighth time in nine games this season that Hamlin was healthy but inactive, but the significance of being able to walk back into that stadium with his teammates Sunday was not lost on Hamlin.
"We all go through tough times. We all go through adversity," Hamlin said in a "Today" show interview that took place before the game but aired Monday. "And being able to get knocked down and having a problem in front of the entire world and then come into that same stadium and stand in whatever role that I have and support my team, I think that shows a lot of strength, a lot of courage, a lot of pride, a lot of confidence."
The former University of Pittsburgh star also announced during his return to Cincinnati that in each of the next three years, his charitable foundation will award $1,000 scholarships to 10 students from underserved communities in the area. Those donations will be made in the names of 10 first responders, nurses and doctors who helped save his life earlier this year.
"This is my third family — I got Pittsburgh, I got Buffalo and I got Cincinnati," Hamlin said on "Today."
Olivia Ray, a reporter for WLWT-TV 5 in Cincinnati, posted a video on X of Hamlin crouched down by himself near midfield after the Bills' 24-18 loss to the Bengals. Hamlin was seen near the area where he collapsed on the field 10 months ago.
According to Ray's tweet, Hamlin had been there for nearly 15 minutes. The third-year safety reposted Ray's post and wrote: "Tonight was everything for me.. y’all don’t know the half of it. Trust me."
Hamlin also posted a video of that spot on the field onto his Instagram Stories, with the written message: "Head Clear. Blessed & Highly Favored. Thank you."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.