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Ravens Wednesday Transcripts: Week 18 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1/4)


Opening statement:"OK, good to see everybody. [I] appreciate everybody being here. [We had] a good practice, beautiful day, guys in great spirits, enthusiastic about practicing and looking forward to a very important game against a divisional rival who we have great respect for. So, we're preparing to play the best that we possibly can on Sunday.

"With that, I wanted to make mention of Damar [Hamlin]'s situation, and just how much our hearts go out to him and his family, and how much we respect what happened at the game Monday night, in terms of the medical people and how well they acquitted themselves. [That is] something that we're really very proud of and impressed by. Also, I was just impressed by the two head coaches, personally. I thought the way they handled it was just exemplary. It was something to be proud of as a coach in this league. I just thought it was very impressive, [what] they did. We've been praying, and reached out to the Bills organization, our organization has. I've reached out personally to my friends there, including [Bills head coach] Sean [McDermott] and [director of player development) Lenny Vanden Bos, [and defensive coordinator/assistant head coach] Leslie Frazier. So, we love those guys and that's where we're at with that. With that, what questions do you have?"

Had you, at any level of football, seen something similar to what happened on Monday night? Did it kind of remind you what these players put on the line? _(Childs Walker) _"The thing we talked to the team about was this idea; it takes a lot of courage. It takes a lot of courage to do a lot of things in life, and it's good to remember that. If there's some good that comes from these types of circumstances, it's that we all have an opportunity to see the humanity in these kinds of endeavors, whether it's football – which in this case it is. I told the guys, 'It takes a lot of courage to play football.' It takes a lot of courage to coach football in the National Football League for different reasons. So, just honoring the guys in that room that we were talking to as we kind of talked through what happened on Monday. Then, the idea that not just football, but other walks of life, what people do. Maybe, we find ourselves in a position to acknowledge what people go through and treat people with respect. That dialogue may be a little more respectful and a little nicer towards one another sometimes. That's what it made me think about, and I was hopeful for that as I watched that whole event unfold."

How do you think your players have handled it, and did you have to give counseling or have a meeting? _(Juliet Macur) _"We had a Zoom meeting available, and [team clinician] Dr. Tricia [Bent-Goodley] does an amazing job, and our team chaplain Johnny Shelton does a great job. We just have incredible professionals here, and they made certain resources available. I don't know who has used the resources. I know our guys talked about it in their position rooms. That was something some of the coaches talked about; they talked a little bit about it and had a chance to kind of air their thoughts on it. So, that's as far as we went with it. As far as their response, they've been great in terms of I think they understand the circumstances of it and what kind of a situation it was. They're just very thankful that, so far, hopefully things are going to be OK. They're hoping and praying for that, so that's where we're at with it."

You have a game to play on Sunday. Have you been made aware from the league if you guys still have a division title to play for? _(Ken Weinman) _"We don't know that. We know the game is going to be at 1 o'clock, I think that just came out – so we kind of knew it was going to be at 1 [p.m.] or 4 [p.m.], so we found out about 1 [p.m.]. So, we're planning on playing the game. All the other stuff is out of our control. We would be excited to be playing for the division crown. That's something that we're hopeful for, but that's really beyond us. Our job is to go win the game. Our job is to go win the football game, and really to do that, we need to control the process, which is play the best football that we can. We think we're capable of playing great football, and we've been playing great football in a lot of ways in a lot of times, so we really want to try to put it all together."

Does it feel different that you're going to be playing one of the two teams that was part of the game on Monday night? _(Bo Smolka) _"I realize that. I don't really know what to make of that, but I think that both teams handled it well. The Bengals handled it very well, and that's really all I can say about it."

The routine is so important in football, and your whole week is laid out. With so much uncertainty swirling around, and the emotions of what happened Monday, can you speak to the challenges of getting ready? _(Pete Gilbert) _"Good question. Really, it's we know we're playing the game at 1 o'clock; we know our opponent. We know that they're going to be out there putting their best foot forward and playing their best. We know what a challenge it's going to be, so it's not hard in that sense, because we know it's in front of us."

So, no one from the league has told you that you're out of the running for the division title or anything of that regard? _(Jamison Hensley) _"Right."

You mentioned the courage players show in taking all this on. Given what happened on Monday and the reaction, do you think more people nationwide are coming to appreciate that? _(Noah Trister) _"That's a great question, and I think a good point. I sure hope so. There are a lot of things that are hard to do in life. People work 35, 40, 45 years at their jobs, and show up every day and do a great job, what kind of resilience that takes and how tough that is. Football is like that. Everything's a little different in its own way, and I just do appreciate the fact that this is an opportunity to acknowledge that, and for me to acknowledge that to our players. We respect our players; we treat our players with respect because we honor what they do. It's a tough sport, and I really just appreciate what they do."

You were able to slow the Bengals' offense down the last time you played them. Will you use that as a blueprint the second time around, or are they a different team? _(Todd Karpovich) _"They're the same, but they're better than they were then. They've continued to improve; it's the mark of a good team. There is no blueprint – to use that word – in terms of stopping anybody really, but we have a gameplan and we're going to try to execute it to the best of our ability."

After these past two days, did you go into practice today knowing what you were going to get, or were you waiting to see how the players responded to being out there again? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"I knew what to expect, because I just know our guys. Our guys, we talk about everything [and] everything is kind of [up] front and out in the open. If guys have concerns, they bring it up, but our guys are about the task at hand. They're excited to play. They didn't show anything different than that, and they were looking forward to practice today."

You mentioned that it's also hard to be a coach in the league. Can you explain a little bit of that, or how hard it is to see a player go down and know what these guys put on the line every day? _(Juliet Macur) _"Like I said, every profession has its challenges. Coaching is no different in terms of challenges. I think a lot of times with the families, that's a big part of that – a challenge that people don't necessarily understand or recognize. Beyond that, I don't think you coach any sport if you don't really admire and love the people you're coaching. Kind of as teachers, you feel that way about your students, so you want to see them do well and you want to see them be successful and thrive and prosper."

How hard was it for you to see what happened on Monday night? _(Juliet Macur) _"It was challenging, because you put yourself in the shoes of the people involved. You could see yourself on that sideline trying to deal with it, and you try to think to yourself, 'What would I do? How would I think in that situation?' Like I said, I admired the two head coaches very much for the way they handled it."

We didn't see QB Lamar Jackson at practice again today. Do you expect him to be ready for the postseason? _(Jamison Hensley) _"I'm just probably going to leave all that stuff alone. I'm going to focus on the game and just get ready to coach our guys and have our guys get ready to play the game."

We saw QB Tyler Huntley was kind of limited throwing the ball out there. Is he still dealing with his shoulder injury? _(Jamison Hensley) _"Yes, like I said, I'm just going to leave all that stuff alone."

Was it good to see CB Marcus Peters back out there at practice? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"[It was] good to see Marcus [Peters] out there, absolutely. Calais [Campbell] will be out there tomorrow, so there you go."


On what it was like to watch the events of Monday night:"Just first, it's just a scary moment trying to put yourself in those players' shoes. Obviously, you think about Damar [Hamlin]'s family and what they're going through. It's tough to see. I think it's incredible, just the community, the NFL community, the brotherhood, the players, just the prayer that everybody has had for him. I'm praying that he's going to be OK."

On if he was watching the game live:"Yes, I was watching it, just in and out. Once that happened, it was just like crazy. It was a crazy thing to see. It's definitely very humbling."

On what it was like getting back on the field for the first time today:"We came in Tuesday when we had meetings, and there was just something that didn't feel right about being there and doing that. Again, there's nothing that we can really do but come in here and do our jobs and pray. Everything else we can't control. So again, my thoughts and prayers are with him."

On if it makes it harder to flip the switch because you never think that that kind of risk is involved in this game:"I don't know if it makes it harder. Maybe [for] some guys it will, but at the end of the day, most of us have been playing football for a long, long time. So, we just go out there [and] play the game that we love. If I didn't love this game, maybe it would be a little bit more difficult, but I love what I do. I love each and every day coming into this facility, playing for the Ravens and competing my heart out."

On if his love for the game has been changed:"No, my love for the game doesn't alter or change just because obviously something bad happened. Again, things happen. You can't control everything, but I don't think it changes the way I feel about football."

On the game on Sunday and going into it potentially not knowing if they have a chance to win the AFC North:"Honestly, as a team, we're not even focused on what the outcome of that game really was. We're not worried about it. Whatever happens, whatever it may be, we're going to deal with that and just play. We're in the playoffs, so we're not too worried about it. We're going to have to play every team anyways, so for us, it's just becoming the best team we can be, and attacking each day and just staying together. That's all we can do."

On if he thinks he will have to try to keep this situation out of his mind on Sunday:"No, no. Obviously, this is something that's I think for this whole week – and probably for many weeks to come – it's going to be in the back of everyone's minds, especially the guys that are playing, but I don't think this alters the way you play. I think you go out there, be yourself and everything else will take care of itself."


On how he's processing everything that's been going on the past few days: "There's not much you really can do other than send a whole bunch of prayers, talk to other guys around the league and just make sure everybody is good. This is one of those things that you know can happen, but you never really expect it to happen – something so severe like that, where a man is fighting for his life. It's one of those very tough situations. I don't really … It's really hard to put it to words – just the feeling you have – but [I'm] just praying that he [Damar Hamlin] comes out of it OK and [is able] to have a normal life; that's really the ultimate goal. It would be great if he could continue playing football if he wants to, but just having a normal life. That's wild – that you even say something like that from playing football, but that's where we're at right now. So, I'm just praying for my man as much as possible. Damar seems like a really good kid. People I know who know him have said nothing but good things about him. As much as we love this game, the bad side of it is when stuff like this happens."

On how he reacted to the events that played out on Monday night: "The first thing that comes to my mind is I've never seen anybody fall down like that before; it didn't look like a concussion. We've seen guys get up wobbly, and sadly, we've [built] callus to that – it's kind of like a normal thing, in a sense, as bad as that is – but the way he [Damar Hamlin] fell down, I was like, 'That looks different. It looks a little more serious.' And you were hearing that they were doing CPR on the field, and you're just like, 'Wow, this is like a first.' Really, I just said an immediate prayer. I was kind of in shock. I'm just hoping that he's OK. I've been checking ever since – nonstop – and just trying to get information and see how he's doing. Like everybody else, I'm hoping that he pulls out and is OK. But that whole process, it was tough. I feel like, at this point in time, it's a feeling that I'm sure everybody has – it's a little gloomy and a little bit sad, just because one of our fellows, one of our peers, one of our people who know what football has provided. It feels like a dream come true for all of us. For me, specifically, when I was a kid, I dreamed of this moment – being here, playing football – but you never think this would happen. So, I just hope that he's OK."

On if an incident like what occurred on Monday night should make people re-think the risk-reward proposition in playing football: "In talking to the guys and stuff … I know, for anybody and for the guys I talked to, it's about the love of the game, because I know how hard it is, and the risks that you take are going to be very high. We try to make the game as safe as possible with the competition committee and just making sure that with the [NFL] PA [Players Association], we do really try to hold the NFL accountable and make sure the game is played in the safest environment possible for us. You have to know the risks, and you have to choose to go out there and play the game. To make that choice, you have to go out here and give it your all and make sure you do everything possible to give yourself the best opportunity to come out on the other side and be healthy and be able to have a normal life career once you retire – a normal life after you retire. But I do think that for people who the players want to lead, I'm sure naturally, so many guys have questioned, do they want to play football again after seeing something like that. Do you want to take that risk? But I do know a lot of guys love this game enough, and I know a lot of guys are going to continue to play football. But that was something that … If you start seeing guys retire – you couldn't fault anybody – I understand. This is a very tough job. As fun as it is and as much as I enjoy it, it's tough, and we're kind of reminded of that in this moment, and it gives us a perspective. We'll continue to make the game as safe as possible. There are going to be some risks. If you want to play this game, you have to accept those risks."

On if he feels like he's getting close to returning from injury: "Yes, I've progressed well – very well. I'm excited to just go out there tomorrow and see how it goes. I felt pretty good. Last week, I was close. I was very, very close, and so it's a good sign. Obviously, you've got to take it one day at a time, but it's good to be back in the mix. It's kind of hard watching football; I'd much rather be playing."

On not knowing the stakes of the Week 18 matchup: "It's unique. You hope they make a ruling and just tell us what they're going to do. It's a tough situation – we understand that – and whatever the ruling may be, it is what it is [and] we'll accept it, but I think it will be nice just to know. It's always good to have information. This team, we feel like we're in a good position. We're happy to be in the playoffs. How much this game is going to matter, that affects things. And if we have a chance to play for a division championship, that's huge, and so, it would be nice to be able to go out there and compete for it. But if we don't get the opportunity, we don't get it, and that's OK. So, we'll just go with whatever comes. But we'll take it one day at a time. But having information would be nice."

On the importance of this game and heading into the playoffs with momentum: "Well, it's all situational. Of course, you want to play your best ball going into the playoffs. It's a momentum-based game, so if you can get a good, big win and get the momentum going on your side going into the playoffs, that's huge. But at the same time, I think we have good players, and we're capable of going out there and putting together the momentum whenever we're out there, 100%. Getting guys back heathy [and] getting guys back on the field will be huge, and I think that kind of helps bring that spark back and give us some extra momentum, as well. But at this point in time, I think it's really just situational. We'll see what happens. I don't know what's going through Coach [Harbaugh's] mind; I don't know what's going through a bunch of the other guys in our locker room's mind. At the end of the day, if we get a chance to play for a Division Championship, we're going to go out there, and we're going to give it our all. Even if Coach [Harbaugh] says that we don't have a chance to play for it – they make a ruling that we don't – and Coach [Harbaugh] says that he wants [us] to go out there and play our all and just have a chance to play for the [No.] 5 seed and also just play good football going into it, then we'll do that, as well. But I think there also will be a discussion – there's a thought process – if we just wait until the playoffs. So, I don't know. A whole lot of unknowns. At the end of the day, we're focused on what we do know, and we'll give it our best shot. But you've got a bunch of guys in here who are competitive, who love the game of football, who feel like we're worthy enough to make a run. And so, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is for us to go out there and show it; if we don't, then it doesn't really matter. The potential is there, and I think the hunger is there, and so, we have a chance."


On if he thought about his own mortality as a football player seeing something like that happen:"As a player, honestly, whenever you go out on the field, you think about something like that, but at the end of the day, you try to push that furthest away from your mind. It's part of the game; we know it. We play a tough sport, and we know what comes with it."

On if the team has had conversations about what happened and if any teammates who shared that they were particularly affected by it:"We had an open space for everybody to talk about it, just talk and get their emotions off and their feelings off. When things like that around here happen – and life – because stuff happens outside of this building in the real world, we always open up space for guys to just talk. In this game, we're always taught to be tough and don't show emotions, but whenever anything happens, we open up the space, 'Just get it off. Just get your feelings out.'"

On if it's harder to focus on the task at hand after what happened given that the Ravens are playing one of the teams that was involved:"You go out there thinking about it, but at the end of the day, it's like it's a tough situation. I can't even really give you an answer for that right now."

On if he, as a player on his second contract, has thought about the fact that Bills S Damar Hamlin is only a second-year player and is not yet a vested veteran in the league:"Definitely. It puts it in perspective for you. Whenever you go out on the field, anything can happen. You always want to be taken care of and know that you can take care of your people if you're not able to. So, it definitely puts it into perspective when you're talking about that, for sure. You always think about that."


On if he knows Bills S Damar Hamlin from both being ACC guys: "No, I think we might have played against each other my sophomore year, but, obviously, he was on defense. I know he [Damar Hamlin] is a great player. One of my good friends who is in New York now, with the Giants, he played in Buffalo, and he was telling me that he's a great dude. So, it sucks to see what can happen in the sport that we play and that we all love. It's unprecedented, and nobody expects this to happen. So, I'm praying for him."

On if the incident hits closer to home as a young safety: "Yes, for sure. But I feel like everybody … We were just talking about it the other day; how many times have I made that tackle in my life? It seemed so casual and so normal that he was just going to get up from it, which he did, but obviously, what happened, happened, and it just kind of set me back, just because, like I said, I've made that tackle probably 50 times in my life."

On the conversations with the team and their support staff surrounding Monday night's incident: "Yes, Coach 'Harbs' has just been talking about perspective a lot. It just allowed me and the whole organization to take a step back, because at this point in the season, we always get so wrapped up. I know it's why we're here, and it was kind of the same in college; you get towards the end, and it kind of seems like you're just week-by-week going through the motions. But this kind of just made everything slow down, everybody slow down, and appreciate, yes, we're here to win football games, and we're here to produce, but at the same time, we're all human beings, and we all want to be healthy, at the end of the day, and we all care for each other."

On how unique it was to watch the events unfold as a member of the NFL brotherhood:"It's tough for any sport. We've seen something, like guys and girls across the world playing sports. Tragedies happen, cardiac arrest and stuff like that, unknown heart conditions. I think to my understanding, this was kind of like a freak accident and it's always tough to see something like that. I think it's been also a good thing to come out of it. Something cool has been everybody rallying around him. It's showed how much people really support and love each other at the end of the day, whether it's a Steelers fan, or a Ravens fan or any other rivalry in the league supporting each other at the end of the day. We're all striving for a common goal, which is to better ourselves, better our future selves and future families. He's just another guy trying to do that, and [I'm] praying for him. I think I saw something with his foundation, or something that ties to his Instagram profile went from like two thousand [dollars] to upwards of five million [dollars], I think now or something like that. (Reporter: "Six million.")Six [million dollars]? Yes, it's crazy to see, and it gives you hope at the same time."

On if his mental health-themed sweatshirt choice was intentional:"No, but maybe it was a subliminal thing that I did this morning, but it is important to take care of your mental health, especially at times like this and all the time. It's something that people don't really touch on, especially in our profession. The manliest thing you can do is be a football player and stuff like that. I think we're getting better. [Team clinician] Dr. Tricia [Bent-Goodley] and people in the building are doing a great job of lending us our resources and stuff like that. Not only in football, in this case scenario, I think in just the world in general, in society, I think everybody can probably touch on mental health a little more."


On if he was watching the play where Bills S Damar Hamlin went down on Monday night and what he was thinking:"I was kind of watching it. I was watching it, but like not really. I did realize – based off how the players' reactions were – that it was a lot more serious than a typical football injury. A lot of times, you don't see guys getting too emotional over just a traditional injury, and then once I realized what was going on, it was just weird because it looked like an ordinary play. Obviously, the more you talked about it, it kind of hit home that … Obviously, you say all the time, you put your life on the line kind of playing this game, but it's crazy for that to really end up like that. Talking with the guys Tuesday in here, and I think 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh] allowed us to talk about it openly as a team. It kind of helped ease a lot of our minds. Even though a lot of us didn't know Damar [Hamlin], but he's a brother in this league. The NFL is a union full of brothers, so we're all praying for him. As this week goes on, it's been really close, to just lock in as brothers, communicate with our family, tell your people you love them when you have them. My buddy always calls me and says, 'I'm on a one-day contract,' talking about himself. That's kind of how life is; you just never know what's going to happen tomorrow, so I think that's kind of what this team has took from that situation. I know [for] the Bills and everybody, it's a lot rougher on those guys, but praying for everybody and hopefully things get better for him."

On if he finds himself constantly looking for updates on Bills S Damar Hamlin, like a lot of football fans around the country:"Yes, so I haven't been on Twitter, but I actually turned on the ESPN alerts on my phone. I was in meetings, and honestly, every time my phone … The only alert I really get is – I don't even get text message alerts – has been ESPN. So, I'm not going to lie, a couple times in meetings, I got an alert. I usually don't look at my phone, but it's been just so much on my heart that I've been hoping that he's doing better. Even in the cafeteria, just looking up, looking up [at the televisions]. So, it's just crazy still, but definitely I think a lot of people in this nation are all kind of hoping he gets better."

On if his mentality on how he approaches the game has been changed:"No, it doesn't really change because it's crazy – it was just an ordinary play it seemed like. So, it doesn't really change my approach of how I go about the game, but it just makes you really just think about what you're doing. It's kind of like … The weird thing is, if you were playing, going all out and you got hurt, or you were playing kind of soft and you get hurt, which one would you rather go out? He did make that play – that's the thing – and I know hopefully he makes it through, but I think there's something there. If you're going to play this game, you just go all out and what happens, happens. But you never want to tip-toe out there on the grass."

On if it was hard to go out on the field today for the first practice since Monday night:"No, it was actually – if anything – I think, like I said, Tuesday 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh] really did a good job, and the resources we have, to just let us kind of get that dialogue, that talk to where we were able to kind of ease in today and just be able to practice. We got a lot of those talks out Tuesday, and I think [that] really helped out a lot of guys."

On the game on Sunday and not knowing if they have a chance to win the AFC North:"That's obviously a little interesting thing to how that will be. I'm not sure how that will end up going, but we're just going to go out and hopefully we get a chance. I know life isn't too fair, so whatever happens is fine. I know if I was the Bengals, I'd be like, 'This isn't fair if they cancel it,' or whatever. Whichever way it goes, I think we do have a game to play, and so with all the things going on, it's kind of a juggle of locking into this week while also still having thoughts and prayers for Damar [Hamlin]."


On how he's impacted by what he witnessed on Monday night: "It was crazy. I was watching it live, and I just thought he [Damar Hamlin] just fell back because he got hurt or something that wasn't that bad. And then you see how long it takes and then you realize the actual stuff that he's going through – stuff that's unimaginable. Every time we put pads on, we never think about that. Just, it's very unfortunate. I have my prayers out to him and his family – everybody that's around him, supporting him. Crazy stuff like that – like I said – you don't expect to happen, so when it happens, [you're] able to take a step back and realize how grateful you are just to be able to go out there and play the game. A hit like that you wouldn't think would have any consequence on what he's going through. He does play like that all the time and it doesn't happen, so it's just really crazy – what happened."

On if he ever questioned why he plays football while watching the incident unfold: "No, I think everybody plays this game because they love the game or it's a way out for them. Whatever it may be, everybody has their reason for playing this game. I don't think anybody would play a game like this if they didn't want to; it's too physical, with chances of stuff like that happening. Obviously, like I said, we don't think about stuff like that happening, but it just gives you a time to step back and realize and be grateful for the things that you do."

On if he reached out to teammates following the incident and the atmosphere in the facility on Tuesday:"There wasn't really that many texts going out, but I know one thing in the facility was everybody just getting everything off their chest that they wanted to say. And just the biggest thing that we all were getting from it was being grateful for the people that are around you, for what you do, for your family – just stuff outside of football, outside of being a football player – [and] just being grateful every day, because every day you wake up is a blessing, but to be able go out there and play this game is another blessing. Stuff like that – like I said – we never imagined happening; your family doesn't imagine that happening to you. So, it just gives you another perspective to look at – about a football player."

On if guys shared similar sentiments about being grateful when discussing the incident during position meetings: "Yes, just being grateful. Like I said, you go out there, you play the game, and stuff like that, you don't expect to happen. Now we just look at each other different; you look at your family different; you look at everything that's in your life outside of football different."

On if it is strange that they are playing in Cincinnati in Week 18, where the incident occurred: "For some people it might [be unusual]; for me, it's not. At the end of the day, I'm going out there, [and] I'm going to play the game that I love. And I don't look at getting hurt, so that's just how I am. If it does [feel unusual] for somebody and they need to get it off their chest, I'm here, [and] they can come talk to me."

On how much meaning the Ravens' first meeting with Cincinnati this season has on the Week 18 matchup: "I think we just have to bring our own energy. We're going to their place. Our place was rocking last time we played. So, now we're going to their place, and their place is going to be rocking. They're a good football team – 11-4 or whatever it is – and they're on a roll right now. We've just got to go in there, we've got to play our game, communicate, be loud, talk, make sure we're all on the same page – play on one accord – and go in there and get the job done."

On if it matters that the stakes are unknown: "No, at the end of the day, we're going out there to play a football game to get on a roll [and] to go into the playoffs hot. At the end of the day, that's what matters – is that we're going into the playoffs on the right foot."

On if he sees Cincinnati as the team to beat in the AFC North: "Of course. They were the last team there to win it. [They] got to the Super Bowl, so, obviously, they were there last year. I know some of them will say it runs through them, so now we've got to go through there at their home place and try to take it back."


On what's going through his mind when he watched Bills S Damar Hamlin get injured:"So, I was home with my wife, and we were actually just playing video games with just some people from home. They were telling me that somebody collapsed on the field and they had to bring an ambulance out on the field. So, you knew it was serious. We put the TV on … It was just very hard to watch. It's tragic. It could happen to anybody. For it to happen, I think it's one of those things where it just puts a lot of perspective into a lot of people – the players, the fans, teams. I think the NFL did the right thing by stopping the game. Just my heart goes out to him, his family and the whole [Buffalo] Bills organization."

On the type of conversations he's had with his teammates about it:"[Head Coach John] Harbaugh addressed us at the start of the team meeting. All of our coaches … At the start of the meetings this week, they all started just talking about it and just their perspective about it. Just how there are prayers and thoughts for him. I was talking to teammates; same thing, just how tragic it was. It's just tragic. It's one of those things where you never want to see it happen to anybody, regardless of who it is [and] what sport. You just want the best for him at this point."

On if this makes him think any differently about his job as a player:"I don't think so. I think we play this sport knowing that we're putting our bodies on the line each and every day. We know that risk. You try to play the right way to where you try to avoid any big injury – playing with your head up. Something like that, it's kind of a freak thing that happened. It wasn't that crazy of a hit. You just never want to see it."

On the difficulty preparing for this week against a team who was involved in that game:"You've just got to take it as any week. You've just got to prepare; we're playing for Sunday against the Bengals. And whatever happens with that game, with what the NFL decides, we can't control any of it. All we can do is just have our thoughts and prayers with Damar [Hamlin]."

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