Tee Higgins: 'I'm in a Good Place' After Bills vs. Bengals Postponement

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 5, 2023

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins plays against the New England Patriots during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins spoke with reporters for the first time Thursday since Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during their Jan. 2 Monday Night Football game.

Joe Danneman @FOX19Joe

"I'm in a good place right now."<br><br>Tee Higgins' first public comments since Monday Night Football. Said he spoke with Damar Hamlin's mother. Said it's hard to forget about, but they're professional football players and have to move forward. <a href="https://t.co/mpw4UCksNe">pic.twitter.com/mpw4UCksNe</a>

Mike Petraglia @Trags

"Obviously it's been hard" Bengals Tee Higgins talks for first time since colliding with Bills Damar Hamlin <a href="https://t.co/B0AFW2NLbg">pic.twitter.com/B0AFW2NLbg</a>

Cameron Wolfe @CameronWolfe

Tee Higgins on his conversation with Damar Hamlin's mom this morning and the importance of support from Damar's parents: <a href="https://t.co/bE70d7cKMH">pic.twitter.com/bE70d7cKMH</a>

Bridget Condon @BridgetCondon_

"I had a smile on my face when I heard that." Tee Higgins on hearing that Damar Hamlin woke up and asked if they won the game.

Hamlin and Higgins collided as the safety leaned in to make a tackle on the wideout, who streaked across the field and lunged forward for extra yardage after catching a pass from quarterback Joe Burrow in the first quarter. It was a seemingly routine play and not outside the rules of the game on either side.

Hamlin stood up after the tackle but then collapsed to the ground. Bills medical personnel rushed onto the field to attend to Hamlin, who was resuscitated on the field after suffering cardiac arrest. The game was suspended and later postponed and now reportedly has been canceled entirely, per Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press.

Hamlin was rushed to UC Medical Center, where he was sedated and listed in critical condition. He made signs of improvement Tuesday and Wednesday before further positive news emerged Thursday, when the Bills offered an encouraging update:

Buffalo Bills @BuffaloBills

<a href="https://t.co/4Fyd2JZVLb">pic.twitter.com/4Fyd2JZVLb</a>

Members of his medical team spoke with reporters Thursday afternoon:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Recap from Damar Hamlin's doctors:<br><br>▪ Damar is awake and using a breathing tube<br>▪ Bills staff saved his life<br>▪ Damar is communicating through writing and asked who won the game<br>▪ Best possible outcome is for Damar to return to who he was before the game <a href="https://t.co/994h8YIUTf">pic.twitter.com/994h8YIUTf</a>

As for Higgins, he offered his thoughts and prayers Monday evening to Hamlin and his family.

Tee Higgins⁵ @teehiggins5

My prayers and thoughts go out to <a href="https://twitter.com/HamlinIsland?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HamlinIsland</a> the Hamlin Family. I'm praying that you pull through bro. Love 🙏🏾💙

Hamlin's family has been supportive of the wideout, to the point where they have condemned any criticism he received in the aftermath of the collision.

Rachel Hopmayer @rachelhopmayer

"If you think you're support Damar by bashing Tee (<a href="https://twitter.com/teehiggins5?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@teehiggins5</a>), you're not supporting Damar" — <a href="https://twitter.com/jordonr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jordonr</a> <br><br>Just caught up with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bills?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bills</a> Damar Hamlin's close friend and marketing rep outside UCMC. He also clarified that it was a misunderstanding that Hamlin was resuscitated twice. <a href="https://t.co/lrvdvVxbSp">pic.twitter.com/lrvdvVxbSp</a>

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen also voiced his support for Higgins while speaking to reporters on Thursday:

Kendall Valenzuela @kvalenzuela17

Josh Allen ended his presser talking about Tee Higgins: <br>"People should not be attacking Tee Higgins whatsoever."<br> <a href="https://t.co/yG6Nd7gLX1">pic.twitter.com/yG6Nd7gLX1</a>

Numerous NFL players came to Higgins' defense as well, including Burrow and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, the latter of whom criticized ESPN analyst (and ex-NFL linebacker) Bart Scott for some comments.

Micah Parsons @MicahhParsons11

Yoo are we serious?!!?why do we let some people speak on tv?! This was a freak incident but putting fault on another player is wild! They should make some of these guys go over lines or something or not even give them a seat at the table! <a href="https://t.co/ctJVfu6cuf">https://t.co/ctJVfu6cuf</a>

Micah Parsons @MicahhParsons11

Like does not even consider how tee Huggins feels before airing some bull shut like that! That traumatic event he just went through! I swear some of these tv guys have too much egos on these stages we give them !

Higgins' Bengals teammates also have his back as well, with wide receiver Tyler Boyd adding remarks on that front:

Kelsey Conway @KelseyLConway

Tyler Boyd on his communication with Tee Higgins over the last few days: <a href="https://t.co/BJHqodo342">pic.twitter.com/BJHqodo342</a>

Bills fans have also supported Hamlin, to the point where Bills Mafia started a GoFundMe in support of the Axe ALS Foundation, which Higgins himself supported as part of this year's My Cause, My Cleats campaign.

Higgins is in his third year in the NFL, all with the Bengals. He surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season on Dec. 24 against the New England Patriots.