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Broncos, Chargers pay tribute to Damar Hamlin

Teams across the league showed their support for the Bills safety as he recovers from cardiac arrest.

DENVER β€” The Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers came together Sunday to make an on-field tribute to Bills safety Damar Hamlin as he recovers from cardiac arrest. 

After the Chargers received the kickoff at Empower Field at Mile High, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. walked to the middle of the field and knelt down. Both players wear Hamlin's number 3.

All of the other players linked arms along the sidelines in solidarity with Hamlin. 

The Chargers drew a delay of game penalty, which the Broncos declined. 

The stadium's PA announcer said the teams had decided before the game that whoever had the ball first would take the delay and the other team would decline. He also urged fans to pray for Hamlin and his family.

Credit: AP
Members of the Las Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos lock arms and walk on the field after the kickoff as a tribute to Demar Hamlin during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Credit: AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
In a show of support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, a number three on the field is highlighted before an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Credit: AP
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is honored before an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Even the field served as a tribute to Hamlin. Like at stadiums across the league, all of the number 3s on the grass were outlined in Buffalo colors in his honor. 

Hamlin has shown steady improvement since collapsing and going into cardiac arrest during the Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. Before his team's game against the New England Patriots Sunday, he tweeted a picture of himself in a hospital bed with the caption "GAMETIME!!!"

In Buffalo Sunday, Bills players wore patches bearing Hamlin's number. The Bills ended their season with a 35-23 win over the New England Patriots. Hamlin live-tweeted the game.

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