Bills’ Hamlin named 2023 Halas Award winner

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been named the winner of the 2023 George Halas Award, the Pro Football Writers of America announced Monday.

The award is given annually to the NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed.

Adversity defined the last days of 2022 and early 2023 for Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle during the Bills’ game at Cincinnati during Week 17. He was resuscitated on the field and transferred to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he initially was treated.

Hamlin has been cleared to play this season, and he told reporters April 18 that he intends to return to football.

“This was a life-changing event, but it’s not the end of my story,” the 25-year-old said. “I plan on making a comeback to the NFL.”

Hamlin becomes the 55th winner of the Halas Award and the second member of the Bills, joining Kevin Everett (2008).

Other 2023 finalists for the award were New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith.

Commanders coach Ron Rivera won the award in 2022 after facing cancer without missing a game.

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