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Latest Damar Hamlin Update Has Devolved Into a Full-Blown Conspiracy Theory

AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel

The entire sports world was rooting for Damar Hamlin. The Bills' safety suffered a life-threatening medical emergency on January 2 during the Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was significant for both teams; the Bills needed a win to help them secure the No. 1 seed in the American Football Conference; the Bengals needed a victory to clinch the AFC North. The game would be over in less than 15 minutes. Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins but soon collapsed. His heart had stopped; CPR was rendered by the Bills athletic training staff until an ambulance arrived. They saved his life, and he remained in the intensive care unit for days. Hamlin’s past charity drive, which only had a modest $2,500 goal, soared past $6 million following his injury. 


Why Hamlin collapsed remains to be determined, but I’m sure many have theories. He showed up for the Bills-Bengals games in the divisional round, where Buffalo suffered the curse of the first-round bye, losing to Cincinnati 27-10 in a snowy duel that saw how injuries and the loss of former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll had impacted the team. The loss of Bills linebacker Von Miller to an ACL tear was also a killer. Yet, Hamlin's appearance in the suite box caused some people to think that a body double was present. The reason: there wasn’t a clear picture of his face (via Fox News): 

He was spotted being driven in a cart to the team’s locker room prior to the game and the CBS broadcast showed Hamlin in a suite cheering on his team and acknowledging the crowd during the game.   

Most of Hamlin’s face was covered in the videos from the game, with the broadcast never getting a clear shot of Hamlin, leading some to speculate that it was not really him. 

The second-year safety had some fun with the rumors on Monday. 


I’m not buying into this theory, even though I find most of this tin foil hat stuff entertaining. They’re often insane and easily debunked theories, but the photo fuels the fire because (again) his face is covered. Maybe he’s mocking that sentiment, but these things will happen in the social media age. I thought a body double replaced Biden, but I was kidding. Or am I?

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