Mike Evans Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) caches the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL world was stunned Monday night after the tragic injury suffered by Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin in the first quarter of their matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest while attempting to stand to his feet and fell back to the turf. He received CPR in front of his teammates before medical staff took him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he has been receiving treatment and recovering since.

The Bills have been sharing great updates on Thursday and Friday, saying that Hamlin’s breathing tube has been removed and he’s started verbally communicating with his family and teammates.

Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of discussions around player safety and where the NFL goes from here. How do you make a sport where players hurl their bodies at one another “safe?” Many people don’t think that’s possible.

You also have to consider that safety isn’t what many players are considering when they’re on the field. Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans told reporters on Thursday that the injury only made him want to play even harder.

“Me, personally, it was scary to see,” said Evans. “But it just makes me want to go even harder. Because you never know when it’s going to be your last time. You’ve got to give it your all every time.”

That might sound pretty jarring given the weight of Hamlin’s injury and the way it shocked so many people. But football players have been primed to play as Evans discussed their entire lives. It’s hard to imagine one injury will change their mindset, even if it’s a particularly shocking one.

[Audacy, Jenna Laine]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.