Jan. 4—Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert was seated alongside cornerback Avonte Maddox on Monday evening as the former roommates watched the Bills-Bengals game together.

Like many NFL fans and pundits, Maddox and Goedert had enjoyed the first couple of series in Monday's game. Buffalo and Cincinnati are considered two of the AFC's top contenders and Goedert wondered aloud during the game who might represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

But during the game's third possession, Bills safety Damar Hamlin suddenly dropped to the ground after he tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, according to the Bills, and received CPR on the field. Two days later, Hamlin remained in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, although he reportedly has shown signs of improvement.

It was a scary moment for the entire sports world, but it was even more emotional for Maddox, who spent two years as Hamlin's teammate at the University of Pittsburgh.

Goedert said Maddox was brought to tears, and the tight end assured Maddox that he'd be there for him. In addition to Maddox, running back Miles Sanders also knows Hamlin, as both players are from Pittsburgh.

"It's a hard situation," Goedert said Wednesday. "But the great part about football is all the people in the locker room are family. ... I'm just trying to do stuff to help lift his spirits. If Avonte or Miles needs to talk or anything, they know we're here. Ultimately, it's about being there for your brother and letting them know that you're there."

The Eagles had a scheduled day off Tuesday, which also was Goedert's birthday. He admitted it was hard to celebrate given Hamlin's condition, but Goedert was able to get Maddox out of the house for a couple of hours, which helped keep his mind busy temporarily. The two had dinner together and went go-karting with several friends in North Jersey.

"I think everybody in [the locker room] has a good relationship with everybody," Goedert said. "It was a very good thing that they stopped the game, letting everybody digest their emotions. Now we have to build from it, continue to be there for each other, and be grateful for the life that we get to live."

On Wednesday morning, coach Nick Sirianni addressed the Hamlin situation with the team during a meeting. He emphasized that the Eagles have resources available to all players and coaches in an effort to assure that everyone is mentally OK given the magnitude of the injury.

"Any time there's a situation outside of our building that requires discussion, we definitely [discuss] that," Sirianni said. "Really just want everyone to know that they have a lot of people that care for them in this building. ... This is one of the reasons why you build the relationships, so the people that are hurting from this can come talk to the people they need to. We just all feel for Damar and his family and just pray for a speedy recovery."

Sirianni said he didn't sense any sort of hesitancy coming from players with the Eagles scheduled to face the New York Giants in the regular-season finale at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. If the Eagles defeat the Giants, they'll secure the conference's No. 1 seed and the NFC East title. The top seed gains an opening-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs.

"We want to be there for these guys in a tough time, and that's where we are right now," Sirianni said.

Wide receiver A.J. Brown also expressed his emotions. Brown and Hamlin were teammates while starring in Nike's "The Opening" event, a recruiting showcase for high school players in Oregon. Brown called Hamlin a "cool" teammate.

"I think the whole world kind of needs time; I think the next down of football is going to be very scary," Brown said. "There's going to be a lot of emotions. Everybody is trying to get back into the norm. I don't know how I'll feel. I knew him personally, so my heart and prayers go out to him and his family. It's a tough time right now. But the good thing about this whole situation is you have the whole world trying to uplift someone.

"Damar is a genuine person. I never had a problem with him. I never heard a single bad thing about him. It sucks to happen to a great guy like that. I'm praying for him and I hope he has a speedy recovery."


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