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AP: Bills Trainer Denny Kellington Received MVP Vote; Performed CPR on Damar Hamlin

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2023

Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington takes the field before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

Buffalo Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington has received a fifth-place vote for NFL MVP from one voter after performing CPR on safety Damar Hamlin in Week 17, per Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press.

Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during his team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this month, requiring immediate action from the training staff. Dr. William Knight IV of the University of Cincinnati hospital noted Kellington's efforts were vital in helping the 24-year-old.

"Not just saving his life, but his neurologic function. The reason why we're talking about his recovery of neurologic function is the true critical importance of immediate and good and high-quality CPR and immediate access to the defibrillation," Dr. Knight said in an early update.

Hamlin has since been discharged from the hospital and spent Saturday with teammates at the Bills facility.

Bills coach Sean McDermott also praised Kellington for his efforts:

NFL @NFL

.<a href="https://twitter.com/BuffaloBills?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BuffaloBills</a> HC Sean McDermott praises assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington who provided immediate care to Damar Hamlin on the field.<br><br>"You talk about a real leader, a real hero, in saving Damar's life." ❤️💙 <a href="https://t.co/HuGyPBhm5g">pic.twitter.com/HuGyPBhm5g</a>

The AP announced an overhaul to its voting process for MVP this season. In the past, each voter only received one vote for the award, allowing few players to receive recognition for their efforts during the season.

Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers won with 39 of 50 votes last year, with Tom Brady and Cooper Kupp receiving votes. There hasn't been more than three players earning votes since Matt Ryan won in 2016.

For the 2022 season, members voted for five players, with first-place votes being worth more than second-place votes, and so on.

One voter decided to use their ballot to honor a real hero in Kellington.