Texans DT Kurt Hinish says Bills S Damar Hamlin collapsing ‘hit me hard’

Kurt Hinish has known Damar Hamlin for a while.

The Houston Texans defensive tackle was once teammates with the Buffalo Bills safety at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh.

“He’s a great football player but an even better person,” Hinish said. “Speaking from my relationship and me observing his relationship with his family, he’s a super family-oriented kind of kid. He obviously chose to stay home in Pittsburgh and go to the University of Pittsburgh to set a great example for his younger brother and everyone else he grew up with in that community. He means a lot to them and will continue to mean a lot to them.”

Hinish says that the example Hamlin set in the community is “second to none.”

The undrafted free agent from Notre Dame was having the Texans’ rookie defensive lineman dinner when Monday Night Football between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals kicked off from Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. Just as Hinish was walking into the restaurant, he saw it all.

“I literally saw him tackle the guy [receiver Tee Higgins], stand up and then collapse,” said Hinish. “My heart dropped. I didn’t know if he had a concussion, and then it went into the whole fiasco that it turned in to. From what I understand, reading everything, it seems like everything is going in the right direction.”

Hamlin needed CPR on the field and was rushed via ambulance to a nearby hospital where he remains in intensive care — although, the safety is making steady progress in his recovery since Monday night.

The nature of screens, whether on television or smart phones, creates a feeling of disconnection from the rest of humanity. However, the impact of Hamlin’s collapse affected Hinish deeply.

Said Hinish: “It’s one thing when you see something like that happen on TV. It’s another thing when you see something like that happen on TV when you know the person, when you have a relationship with that person. It kind of means more because I play football in the NFL. He plays football in the NFL. It just kind of puts things into perspective. It really hits you harder because you know that person. You know that person’s family. You see his younger brother running around and the role model Damar is for his family. You can only image what’s going on with them.”

For comprehensive coverage on Hamlin and his recovery, visit the Bills Wire.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire