Tee Higgins 'in a good place' after hearing about Damar Hamlin waking up

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Tee Higgins 'in a good place' after hearing about Damar Hamlin waking up originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Doctors say Damar Hamlin is showing “substantial improvement” since the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety fell into critical condition following a tackle on Monday night.

This not only brings fellow players and Bills head coach Sean McDermott joy, as seen at Thursday night’s presser, but the news has left the entire league in relief – especially Tee Higgins, the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver who was tackled by Hamlin.

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“I’m in a good place right now,” said Higgins.

The Bills and Bengals began playing their Week 17 showdown, when the game paused as a result of the devastating injury. Hamlin’s heart stopped after tackling Higgins, which led to the ultimate suspension of Monday’s game. 

Since the tragic occurrence, fans, NFL players and people all around the world have been patiently waiting to hear anything regarding Hamlin’s condition. And in addition to the worry, some people blamed Higgins for the injury.

Former NFL player Bart Scott said on ESPN that Higgins was partially at fault for “throwing his body” and lowering his head into Hamlin’s chest after catching the pass.

But quarterback Joe Burrow responded with: “There’s nothing you can do about that hit,” on Wednesday. “That hit happens on every play of every single game. That’s the scary part about it.”

Players and coaches know it wasn’t anyone’s fault, especially not Higgins, however it doesn’t mean Higgins didn’t take the situation to heart. 

Chicago Bears center Sam Mustipher said: “Football is a game where you want to impose your will on another man. And I’m sure you know (Higgins) thought, ‘I’m lowering my shoulder, knocking it forward, finishing a run after a catch.’ And that happens. You know, I hope his mentality is good, he’s doing all right. You know, there is a lot of emotion and passion in this game. Yeah, I can’t imagine what he is feeling right now.”

Luckily, with the news of Hamlin’s slow but steady recovery, Higgins clearly sighed in relief and felt gratitude, as shown through his most recent locker room appearance.

The most recent update from doctors, as of Thursday afternoon, was that Hamlin woke up and was able to write his first words on a piece of paper – his words asked who won Monday night’s game.

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And that brought a smile to Higgins’ face.

During a Thursday night Bills presser, McDermott and Bills quarterback Josh Allen commented on the situation. 

“I haven’t spoken to Tee … but I hope he got some relief today … people should not be attacking him,” said Allen. “That's a football play and there's nothing he could have done in that situation.”