ESPN football analyst Dan Orlovsky took a moment during NFL Live on Tuesday (Jan. 3) to bow his head and lead his co-hosts in prayer for Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, who remains in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest in Monday night’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Following what appeared to some to be a hard but routine tackle, Hamlin rose to his feet immediately after the play before collapsing to the ground. He remained motionless while paramedics worked to resuscitate him for more than 10 minutes. Surrounded by players from both teams, medical personnel helped Hamlin regain a pulse before he was transported by ambulance off the field to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The game was canceled.
‘I want to pray for him … right now’
Following an outpouring of concern for the Buffalo Bills player, Orlovsky addressed how many in the NFL — players, coaches and leaders throughout the league — continue to urge people to pray for Hamlin.
“Even through the midst of absolute tragedy last night, I think you saw some of the beauty of football that has brought us all together,” Orlovsky said. “I’ve heard it all day. Thoughts and prayers. … I’ve heard the Buffalo Bills organization say that we believe in prayer. And maybe this is not the right thing to do, but it’s just on my heart that I want to pray for him, Damar Hamlin, right now.”
Fellow NFL analyst Marcus Spears responded, “It is [the right thing to do].”
‘We believe in prayer’
Orlovsky continued, “I’m going to do it out loud. I’m going to close my eyes. I’m going to bow my head, and I’m just going to pray for him.”
He prayed, “God, we come to You in these moments that we don’t understand, that are hard, because we believe that You’re God and coming to You and praying to You has impact.
“We’re sad, we’re angry and we want answers. But some things are unanswerable, and we just want to pray and truly come to You and pray for strength for Damar, for healing for Damar, for comfort for Damar, to be with his family, to give them peace. If we didn’t believe that prayer [worked], we wouldn’t ask this of You, God. I believe in prayer. We believe in prayer. And we lift up Damar Hamlin’s name and Your name. Amen.”
Both co-hosts followed with “Amen.” Fellow show host Laura Rutledge added, “That was beautiful.”
Rutledge closed the segment, “I’ll just reiterate how secondary football is in all of this. We are thinking and praying, as you’ve seen here, for Damar Hamlin and his family and truly hoping for some better news.”