Brian Daboll was with the Bills in 2021 and thus, he certainly knows Damar Hamlin, the 24-year-old safety who is in intensive care and fighting for his life after going into cardiac arrest on the field Monday night in Cincinnati.
Daboll said he was watching the game live and that Hamlin’s medical emergency is “heavy on my heart.”
Before getting into any football with his Giants players, Daboll addressed Hamlin’s condition during the Wednesday morning team meeting. After consulting with general manager Joe Schoen — who, like Daboll, came to the Giants from the Bills — Daboll had team medical personnel at the meeting, including Dr. Lani Lawrence, the Giants’ director of wellness and clinical services, and team chaplain Gian Paul Gonzalez, speak with players and answer any questions they might have. Gonzalez offered a prayer for Hamlin’s recovery.
“I just think when a situation like that occurs, it probably weighs heavy on everybody’s hearts and minds,” Daboll said. “I just thought that was important, to let those three individuals speak.
“I think you’re always concerned about your guys and then when something like this happens you’re always concerned about ‘em. That’s why I have confidence in the people in our building, that’s what we’re all here for, we’re here for the players, support staff, coaches, trainers, medical, everybody’s here to help the player in any way we can. I just thought that was the right thing to do for our team.”
Daboll said “it was tragic to see’’ Hamlin go down after making a routine tackle while taking a hit to the chest area by Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin received CPR on the field from medical experts, who were able to restart his heartbeat. His uncle, Dorrian Glenn, told CNN on Tuesday that Hamlin is breathing on his own 50 percent of the time. Previously, he was on a ventilator 100 percent of the time.
Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s friend and marketing representative, told ESPN on Wednesday that doctors saw positive readings indicating Hamlin is making progress.
Hamlin remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Daboll said he has been in touch with people he knows with the Bills and offered his support.
“Not that I can do much,’’ he said. Referring to himself and Schoen, Daboll added, “Those people mean a lot to both of us. Being there for four years, I have a ton of respect for people in that building.”
Daboll was the offensive coordinator with the Bills last season when Hamlin was a rookie safety, a sixth-round draft pick from the University of Pittsburgh.
Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during “Monday Night Football” against the Bengals. Follow the New York Post’s live coverage for the latest news and updates on his condition.
“I know him, I wouldn’t say I was as close with him as some of the defensive guys. I certainly know him from the [scout] team. He’s a good young man,” Daboll said.
Daboll said no player expressed to him a desire not to play in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Giants have several coaches who came over to the Giants from the Bills. There are also four players on the Giants’ roster who were teammates of Hamlin’s in Buffalo last season: cornerback Nick McCloud, center Jon Feliciano, wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins and quarterback Davis Webb. Safety Jason Pinnock played college football with Hamlin at Pitt.
“He’s a tremendous young man,” Daboll said, “and just pray for a recovery.’’