Bill Belichick recalls 'chilling' injury to Reggie Brown in remarks about Damar Hamlin

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Patriots playing the waiting game amid Damar Hamlin situation
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Bill Belichick says he doesn’t normally watch Monday Night Football, but he happened to flip on Monday’s game against the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals because of the importance of their upcoming Week 18 matchup.

As Damar Hamlin lay on the field fighting for his life, Belichick found himself remembering having seen former Detroit Lions linebacker Reggie Brown in person go through something similar.

The Patriots coach touched on Brown’s injury during his opening remarks on Hamlin, the Bills defensive back who suffered a cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game and had to be revived multiple times. Hamlin has reportedly improved markedly since that night according to recent updates, even gripping the hands of family members after having woken up.

“It was kind of a normal play,” Belichick recalled of Brown’s injury, which happened while Belichick was an assistant of Bill Parcells’ with the New York Jets. “… Everyone got up and walked back to the huddle, and Reggie laid on the field and didn’t move. He was conscious for a little while. I forget exactly how long -- 10 minutes, something like that.

“By the time he was given CPR, revived, put on the board, put on the ambulance and driven off the field at the Silverdome, it was quite a lengthy process. Both the teams looked very much like the game Monday night.
Concern, thought, prayer, kneeling. It was a very chilling game that I’ll obviously never forget.”

In the days that have followed since Hamlin went down against the Bengals on Monday, Belichick said he and the Patriots have extended their thoughts and prayers to both the Bills and Bengals.

Belichick also took a moment to shout out current assistant coaches Troy Brown and Jerod Mayo, both of whom played at a high level in the NFL for many years, as well as the leaders of his team, including Devin McCourty, David Andrews and Mac Jones for their input this week.

“I’ve expressed this to the players multiple times: the amount of respect I have for them, what they do and how they do it is immense,” he said, acknowledging he doesn’t risk injury the way they do. “… They walk out there. They put the equipment on. It’s a contact sport. What they and their families deal with as participants is different than what I do as a coach.”

He added that he and his players are “doing the best they can” to move forward as the Patriots’ Week 18 matchup with the Bills remains poised to take place, saying that any potential scheduling changes are out of the team’s control: “Life’s bigger than this game. It’s one of those humbling moments for all of us that stands out.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports