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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

How the Damar Hamlin Injury Shocked the Sports World

Nicolaas Grobler
Ethan Undello (‘25) and Jordan McCray (‘24) play football together on Centennial Field in their off-season as Troy Seanoa (‘24) throws them a ball. They play together after spending their lunch talking about the recent NFL games that have been happening leading up to the Superbowl.

The sports world was sent into shock earlier this year when a serious injury occurred in an National Football League game, fans and players were all scared wondering what happened to Damar Hamlin. Hamlin is a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL who suffered a significant injury during the team’s Week 3 matchup. This scared the sports world with fans around the nation stopping and bowing their heads when watching, saying a prayer for him and his family.  

The injury occurred at approximately 8:55 p.m. EST in the first quarter of the game when the 24-year-old collided with a Bengals receiver, Tee Higgens. Hamlin initially made the tackle and seemed to get up fine then suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest on the field, falling to the floor unconscious. Trainers all ran to the field knowing something was wrong, trying their best to assess the situation.  

The team doctors performed CPR for 10 minutes when finally, Hamlin was brought back to life as the medics finally got a heartbeat. Following the revival, an ambulance was then able to escort him from the stadium at approximately 9:25 p.m. EST The ambulance took him to the UC Medical Center where they were able to run tests and treat him.  

Following the injury, the game then was stopped and declared no contest as all Bills players and fans mourned for the Hamlin family. According to ESPN, the day after his injury, after staying the rest of the night in the hospital, he was “sedated and in critical condition.” 

Although the score of the game was only 7-3, with the Bengals winning with a lot of time left in the game, the injury shook the entire stadium. Those who were watching from their home listened to the broadcasters talk for 5 minutes, but the game had still not resumed. Troy Vincent NFL executive vice president denied that the game continued and finished due to the severity and not having knowledge of his condition.  

Hamlin’s injury is a major reminder of the physical toll that playing in the NFL can take on a certain player’s body. Injuries are very common occurrences in the league and can often have a significant impact on a certain team’s success. The difference between his injury and many others is how uncommon it was. These injuries happen in all age levels of sports, even at the high school level. 

“The injury was very unfortunate and scary to see happen on the field, and I hope he recovers back to full health,” said Jordan McCray (‘24), a WSC football player.

Many athletes face injuries at Webb and can end their seasons causing speculation about whether these sports are safe to play at the teenage age. Jacob Arias (‘23), a WSC football player, sustained a spiral fracture on his tibia bone taking him out for the season. Injuries happen very commonly in football in high school, college, and NFL, but when are the players’ health and safety going to come before the game? 

Doctors say Hamlin may have suffered a rare form of cardiac arrest called a commotio cordis, which is when a person is struck near their heart at the wrong time during their heartbeat. The injury is very rare, happening fewer than 30 times a year, and can happen in all different types of sports from hard contact to the heart.  

Hamlin spent 9 days going through 2 hospitals after finally being released from his hospital in Buffalo, New York on January 11. His family was relieved to have him back home, after passing all his cardiac and neurological tests. The team and coaches were very happy by the news with ESPN reporting Bills coach Sean McDermott saying, “They will leave it up to Hamlin when he would like to return back to the team facility.” 

The Buffalo Bills then returned to the field Sunday, January 15th to face the New England Patriots finishing with a win, but the entire game’s focus was on Hamlin. Players on the field were all wearing the number “3” and fans in the stadium held signs praying for the Hamlin family. He is now residing in his home recovering from his injury, but the Bills had to continue through the season keeping him in their minds. 

Although injuries can happen in all age groups, the question is whether teenagers should be allowed to play these sports. These serious injuries are starting to become common in high school-level sports leaving teenagers with permanent injuries. It is very lucky Damar Hamlin was able to recover from his one-in-a-million injury, but the outcome may not be the same for someone on the high school level. 

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About the Contributor
Nicolaas Grobler
Nicolaas Grobler, Co-Editor of Photography
Relishing all the small moments, Nicolaas Grobler (‘24) captures them all by engaging with different forms of media, from video editing to photography. Aside from this, Nick enjoys skateboarding with friends, listening to artists like Playboi Carti and Tay-K or watching some of his favorite shows like The Office or BoJack Horseman. This past summer, Nick returned to Long Island, New York, where he often returns each year to spend with his family. From working as a busboy to volunteering as a nurse, Nick was staying busy. Whether in front of or behind the camera, he finds a way to capture his passions in the spotlight. His interests in both business from trading stocks and the medical field have inspired him to pursue a future in the biotech business industry. As Nick enters his final year at Webb and in journalism as the Editor of Photography, he hopes to expand the media content he puts out while enjoying his last memories here, one click at a time.  Favorite Song: "Out On Bond" by BabyTron

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