The NFL also unveiled plans on how it’ll honor Hamlin across the league ahead of the Week 18 matchups.
The Patriots and the NFL are paying tribute to Bills safety Damar Hamlin ahead of this weekend’s matchups.
On Friday, the Patriots revealed they painted each “3” on the field at Gillette Stadium with a blue outline to honor Hamlin, who wears the No. 3.
It’s just one of the many ways the Patriots have paid tribute to Hamlin in the days after he went into cardiac arrest during the Bills’ game against the Bengals on Monday night. The Patriots had placed the message “Patriots Nation Stands With Damar Hamlin” on one of their video screens on Tuesday, along with lighting up Gillette Stadium blue throughout the week.
Numerous members of the Patriots have also donated to Hamlin’s toy drive, including Robert Kraft. The Patriots owner donated $18,003 to the drive, using the 18 in his donation because it symbolizes “chai” or “life” in Jewish culture.
The NFL sent a message for the public address announcer to read before the national anthem prior to each game this weekend, with the message showing “unified support” for Hamlin along with the first responders and medical caregivers for him.
Every player across the league will have the option to wear black T-shirts that read “Love for Damar 3” during pregame warmups. The Bills will wear a shirt with the same message, but it will be in the team’s royal blue instead of black.
Buffalo players will also have a “3” jersey patch on their uniforms when they host New England on Sunday.
The Patriots held their final practice before Sunday’s game against the Bills on Friday. Ahead of what’s likely to be an emotional game with playoff implications for the Patriots, Bill Belichick wants his team to “control what we can control.”
“Everybody will have to individually process it like we’ve been doing,” Belichick said. “But expect it to be an emotional scene. In the end, we’re going there to play our best football game. So, I think everybody understands there’s the balance and there’s multiple things going on here.”
Hamlin’s condition has progressed in recent days. His breathing tube was removed Friday morning, allowing him to speak with his Bills teammates over FaceTime as he’s still at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
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