Vikings Defensive Tackle Steps Up to Help Damar Hamlin’s Family, Medical Staff

Former Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Harrison Phillips has reached across the miles to do what he can for the family of Damar Hamlin, and the medical staff caring for him at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Phillips, now with the Minnesota Vikings, played with Hamlin in 2021 during the last of his four seasons with Buffalo, according to KMSP-TV.

Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after a hit in Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was resuscitated on the field. The Bills on Wednesday issued an update on Hamlin’s condition.

Phillips said he began contacting former teammates as soon as he was aware of the severity of Hamlin’s condition.

“For all the teammates that were rallied around them there, it was a very hard scene to see. You can try to picture it as best you can, but it was a very hard scene. So, I’ve obviously been praying. I got on my knees, praying and trying to figure out, ‘What can you do?’” he said, according to comments posted on the Vikings website.

“There’s nothing really to do than try to reach out to everyone you can and make sure that they know that they’re loved and bring as much support as you can.”

Phillips wanted to do something tangible as well.

“I found a sandwich shop and ordered food — chips, drinks and sandwiches, everything I could find, salads, whatever — for all the doctors, nurses on the ICU ER floor, the members of Damar’s family that were there, the training staff of the Bills. They were able to deliver that for dinner last night,” Phillips said.

He said he did something similar for Wednesday.

“I have a buffet of Chipotle stuff [Wednesday night] coming for dinner for all of the doctors and nurses — I think there’s 50 or so,” he said.

“I just wanted to donate food for them so they don’t have to worry about any of that,” Phillips said, according to KMSP.

Phillips said that his charity will be holding events to support Hamlin and his family.

“The children I work with have bigger hearts than any of us, and they wanted to find ways to help out too. I opened a branch of my foundation they could support. It’ll hopefully be a celebration of his life and his recovery in the months to come,” Phillips said.

“Damar was close to my locker and helped out with my foundation. We are a brotherhood. It touches very, very hard for us,” Phillips said. “We compete like hell when we’re out there against each other, but that is a brother that I look across when I look across the line of scrimmage.”

Phillips said he was touched by the outpouring of support for Hamlin.

“I’m loving all the support and prayers. I believe in the power of prayer heavily, and I believe that’s helping move the needle,” he said.

Vikings outside linebacker Pat Jones II, who played with Hamlin at Pitt, said his first reaction as he saw the scene unfold was to pray, according to the Vikings website.

“I just saw how the whole thing played out and that’s when I just started praying for him and just thinking of his family and just keeping everybody in my prayers, just hoping that it wasn’t anything like it was, and just that it would be better. I’ve just kept keeping him in my prayers, and his family, too,” he said.

The power of prayer has been invoked by players since Monday night, Buffalo offensive tackle Dion Dawkins said, according to CNN.

“In that moment, you’re just thinking like, ‘What can I do? What can we do?’ And it just immediately breaks you down into prayer. Whether you’re a believer or not, only a higher power can really take control of what is next. And our people that help also assisted that higher power,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.