Did we win?
Ted Karras, Bengals center and history buff, has a prediction for Damar Hamlin's first question to his doctors.
"I thought it was a legendary comment. I think it goes down as one of the – this is going to be a pinnacle moment in NFL history," said Karras after Thursday's practice.
"And for that to be a response by a player that suffered a tragedy just shows the passion and deep love that we all have for this game. I don't think it could be scripted any better than that."
Wearing one of the 513 T-Shirts split with Bengals and Bills colors with Hamlin's No. 3 highlighted by Buffalo blue, Karras admitted the good news is "Amazing, I feel like a thousand pounds is lifted off me … I'm only wearing it because of such good news today."
MIXON REACHES OUT: Across the locker room from Karras, special teams captain Michael Thomas said the Hamlin news, "Let's us breathe a little more." Running back Joe Mixon, sitting in front of his locker still trying to process Monday's events, said the news was "uplifting. That's definitely a weight off my shoulders."
But as uplifting as it was, the impact is still there. Mixon was so close to Hamlin when he collapsed, he had to jump over him and as he did he was waving for help from the sidelines.
"I'm hopeful by me waving like that, maybe it got him help a second sooner. I'm just glad to see him trending in the right way," Mixon said. "We've seen a lot of things in this game happen when guys break legs, arms or get concussions. But nobody has seen something to that extreme. That was one thing that was very traumatizing. It's hard to erase. It's very, very emotional knowing this is a game we choose to play. As much as people look at us like gods, people don't understand we have feelings, too.
"Playing this game we get so desensitized seeing traumatic injuries and when we see something like that that's never happened before. I left that game thinking, that could be me for real."
Mixon went to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Tuesday and spoke to some of Hamlin's family members.
"I got to spend maybe about 30 minutes with them," Mixon said. "The game is good and all, but it's really bigger than football. I just wanted to let them know they've got somebody that they can lean on as well."
MOTHER'S DAY: Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, the guy Hamlin tackled before he collapsed, had help getting through from his mother as well as Hamlin's mother.
The family went to twitter to scold those blaming Higgins for the play and Hamlin's mother told Higgins how he was improving.
"It feels good. You know just knowing that he's OK, he's doing better. It makes me feel better inside," Higgins said. "It was just telling me she's thinking of me, praying for me and things like that. Telling me he's OK, all the good positive stuff … so I'm in a good place right now."
He admits he was not after his 13-yard gain and that he's glad the game was called.
"At first, me being a football player, I'm thinking he just flopped one of our guys bumped him seeing him fall," Higgins said. "When I looked again, I saw what happened. So I just turned my head to try and not think about it because I know it was something crazy and something tragic. It was hard. Obviously, I wasn't in a good place to play for the rest of that game so I'm kind of glad we chose not to play."
But his own mother also helped and there's no one that has overcome more adversity as well as Camilla Stewart.
"She's been there and seen the struggles and done the struggles," Higgins said. "I've seen how she bounced back from something. She was addicted to drugs so I've seen how she bounced back from something that's hard to bounce back from. It makes it easier on me. Just going back and seeing what she's been through and all the things I've been through, it's nothing compared to that."
Camilla had Monday's message that resonated with her son.
""Obviously what happened was a tragedy. Just continue to pray. God has him. Once I heard that, it put my mind at ease for the rest of the night," Higgins said, "and I was able to get some sleep."
TB AND TEE: Higgins also got support from fellow wide receiver Tyler Boyd. When Higgins came to work Boyd's summer camp in Clairton, Pa., last year, he met Hamlin, like Boyd, a Pittsburgh native and University of Pittsburgh alum.
Boyd and Hamlin are tight enough that Boyd made sure on Thursday before he met the press he pulled on a "Chasing M's," ball cap from Hamlin's foundation that raises money for toys in the Pittsburgh area.
"When I met him, he was a cool guy. You know, big smile, 'What's up bro? How you doing?'" Higgins recalled. "This and that and, you know, then we just started working the camp together. And it's all been good ever since then."
Higgins has turned to Boyd the last couple of days and he's been there for him.
"By him being a close friend to him (Hamlin), me talking to him after and asking him questions and see how he was doing after that, it just helped me out with keeping me sane and calm during this process," Higgins said. "He's been a good friend through it."
Hamlin looked up to Boyd. Three and a half years younger, Hamlin followed his name through the Pittsburgh youth leagues and at and Pitt they became friends, one era passing it to the next.
"I was seeing everybody giving Tee crap, but people don't really know that he was building with him. I brought him to my camp with D-Ham and they became friends," Boyd said. "It was cool. It was always genuine. It was never like a rivalry every time they played each other. Tee's got a good head on his shoulders and he didn't take it as bad. But I just stayed on him, because I know how much he felt after the game about it.
"I know he was getting a lot of stings on Twitter and on social media. But I know it's not his fault. And with all the politics and whatever they saying is wrong for that. It's very disrespectful I feel like. Tee's a human being, too. It could have flipped. It could've been Tee. It's football at the end of the day. I felt for him, and he's doing (well) now that Hamlin is OK. That's the biggest thing."
HUBBARD IN THE KNOW: If it sounds like Bengals left end Sam Hubbard knew what kind of care Hamlin was getting, he did. His mother is a 30-year veteran of where they sent Hamlin as a nursing supervisor for UC's critical care unit. Amy Hubbard isn't on duty this week and while Hubbard's sister is also a nurse in another part of the hospital, they were able to tell Hubbard what was going on with Hamlin's care.
"Those are her people," Hubbard said. "They were able to tell me what was going on and what kind of steps they were going to take. It was good news."
Hubbard was probably the only player in the league that could identify the doctors in the UC update video that was tweeted. One of them, Bill Knight, went to Hubbard's alma mater of Cincinnati's Moeller High School before becoming a doctor of neurovascular emergencies and neurocritical care. Sometimes, Hubbard says, Knight is on the Bengals sidelines at Paycor Stadium, but Hubbard says he was on call Monday.
"My mom says he's one of the best doctors and minds to come across the profession and that's high praise coming from her," Hubbard said.
It looks Hubbard is back in the lineup. He quietly had a full day of practice Thursday after missing the last two games with a calf injury.