Joe Flacco Backs Hamlin for Prestigious NFL Honor

Rising from Adversity, Hamlin Defies Odds in NFL

by Zain ul Abedin
Joe Flacco Backs Hamlin for Prestigious NFL Honor
© Tim Warner/Getty Images

In an inspiring display of sportsmanship and respect, Browns quarterback Joe Flacco, formerly with the Pitt Panthers, has publicly endorsed fellow NFL Comeback Player of the Year finalist Damar Hamlin. In a candid interview with CBS Sports Radio's Zach Gelb, Flacco expressed his belief that Hamlin, a former Pitt safety, stands out as the most deserving candidate for the 2023 accolade.

Flacco, who shares the nomination with notable names such as Matt Stafford, Baker Mayfield, and Tua Tagovailoa, acknowledged Hamlin's unique challenges. "I think we can probably go through most of the guys on that list besides Damar - I don't necessarily know if we're coming back from anything," Flacco remarked.

He highlighted the mental fortitude and physical resilience required for Hamlin to return to the field, especially considering the demanding nature of his position.

Hamlin's Miraculous Recovery

Hamlin's journey to this nomination is nothing short of remarkable.

Drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round in 2021, he proved himself a reliable reserve, accumulating 91 total tackles, two passes defended, and a forced fumble in 2022. However, his career took a dramatic turn when he suffered cardiac arrest during a game at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The swift and life-saving medical intervention on the field, followed by expert care at UC Medical Center, allowed Hamlin to recover miraculously. By the start of training camp in August, Hamlin had made a complete comeback, participating in five games during his third professional season.

Following an incident that profoundly affected the football community, this incredible recovery underlines the resilience and determination that define Hamlin’s character.

Hamlin's Impactful Generosity

Beyond his achievements on the field, Hamlin has leveraged the overwhelming support he received to benefit others.

He has expanded his charitable foundation, focusing on supporting underprivileged communities in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Additionally, he has raised awareness about providing immediate assistance to individuals experiencing similar heart conditions.

Reflecting on his nomination, Flacco shared his surprise and modestly downplayed his comeback story. "I don't necessarily know what I'm coming back from," he said, humbly acknowledging the honor of being recognized in the league but emphasizing his belief in Hamlin as the true embodiment of a comeback.

His comments celebrate Hamlin's physical and mental recovery and exemplify the camaraderie and mutual respect prevalent among NFL players.