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1-4-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

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January 4, 2023 6:10 am

1-4-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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January 4, 2023 6:10 am

Thoughts & Prayers continue for Damar Hamlin |  Mike Tomlin's special relationship with Damar | Giannis sets a new career-high.

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JR Sports Brief

It's an atypical work week, so for those of you who are not actually marking your hump day, that's alright. We want to stick with our hump show theme, our middle show of the work week, because for us it is a full work week. And while it's not typical, it's been anything but normal or typical.

Still, we're here and we're into this first week of January and pretty soon, like it or not, we'll all be into our familiar rhythms and familiar routines. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We're going to get back to some of the other headlines in the world of sports.

A career first for Giannis Attenacumpo, 150 points surrendered by a Boston Celtics defense that is supposed to be the best in the league or one of the best in the league. Also, if you're thinking about NFL offseason business, there's one name along with Sean Payton that is getting a lot of play when it comes to some of the coaching openings that are available or will be available. And producer Jay promised us that he would have an update on the Christmas mason jar full of M&Ms.

And so there's a lot we want to get to over the course of these next, we'll call them 52 minutes. But I have to start with this because I know a lot of you have found me on social media and have asked for updates or are sharing updates yourself. I just checked DeMar Hamlin's GoFundMe page with its update from his team, his family.

They're grateful and just the overwhelming support that they're receiving. Meanwhile, the donations continue to pour in as of five o'clock Eastern Time, so five o'clock Pittsburgh and Buffalo time, which is the two cities that he uses for his toy initiatives and his coaching clinics. DeMar Hamlin's fund is $17,000 away from $6 million. When I got off the air yesterday morning, so not quite 24 hours ago, I put an update out there. I think it was $3.18 million.

It was getting close to $3.19. And now here we are approaching 200,000 donations that are totaling nearly $6 million. Incredible.

Absolutely incredible. The latest with DeMar is that he's still sedated. He's still receiving oxygen. Essentially, he's in a medically induced coma to allow his body to try to heal without overworking.

He is still listed in critical condition. His family is on site there in Cincinnati, as well as a myriad of reporters and football fans who continue to show up at the hospital and at the stadium to show their support. We finally had a member of the family speak out on Tuesday, and you'll hear from DeMar's uncle, Dorian Glenn. He did a bunch of different interviews, and I really appreciate that. I appreciate that a member of the family was willing to speak out.

Probably they designated him or asked him if he would do it. In the midst of all his emotion and his nerves and anxiety over his nephew, he expressed the gratefulness of the family. And he says that DeMar is still fighting, but that these next few hours and days are critical. According to his uncle, DeMar actually had to be revived twice. Not only did he receive life-saving measures on the field in Cincinnati on Monday night, which we saw, or at least we knew that was happening in the midst of the ring of players with the medical teams, the first responders, but he also had to be revived again at the hospital, which is scary to think about.

But he's alive. He's breathing better. His oxygen levels have increased. So initially, he was on a ventilator that was breathing for him, and he needed 100% oxygen. According to the family, now he's able to breathe some on his own, and his oxygen levels have increased, and so the ventilator is only providing 50% oxygen. And for those of you who know the medical terminology, you're obviously more well-versed in this than me.

I was passing along the information, but the family is encouraged. He has shown some improvement. I've seen other reports out there about how they've put him on his stomach to try to decrease the stress on his lungs, so I guess there is some lung damage that's been reported, though they don't know the extent, really, of anything at this point, only that this is the best course of action, and that we're talking life or death, at least initially.

But they're encouraged, they're hopeful, and certainly grateful for the support, the prayers, the overwhelming, not just financial contributions to his website, but the messages and the kindness and just the outpouring of words and prayers and people thinking about their family. And the NFL rarely ever stops or even slows down. Let's be honest, when does the NFL ever take a breath?

It's become a year-round sport. But I applaud the league, the commissioner, the owners, who in this case are watching, listening, recognizing that the Bills and Bengals are certainly in no shape to play right now and they need some time, but also the rest of the NFL is focused on DeMar and is focused on the mental health of their own locker rooms. And after watching that play out on Monday and knowing still that he's not out of the woods, football is on the back burner. The game is not being rescheduled.

The only update we've received from the NFL is that it will not be rescheduled this week, though they will, at least at this point, move forward with the Week 18 slate. So even as DeMar Hamlin is still in the intensive care unit and is still in critical condition and is still sedated and receiving oxygen, there is hope there. The Bills are encouraged.

The family is encouraged. I mean, there have been prayer vigils. There's fans who are showing up in Cincinnati and in Buffalo.

I saw Jim Kelly and his wife organized a prayer vigil and a bunch of fans showed up. This is the focus of not just the league right now, but really other sports too, watching and seeing what's happening and for the NFL to recognize this is what matters and to not be kind of a dictatorship in this particular case, to listen to the players and to the NFLPA. We don't often see this type of compassion from the league. Sometimes we see the league make the most boneheaded decisions and they come across as completely tone deaf, but not in this case. And I don't know that there will ever be a right time to restart, but yes, at some point it becomes helpful for these athletes to have something to focus on. And around the league, certainly there are teams that are getting ready for Week 18. But it seems as though what most of these athletes want to talk about and need to talk about right now is what they saw, what they experienced, what they felt in those moments on Monday, similar to what many of us are doing as sports fans and as human beings.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Thanks so much for hanging out with us on what is now a Wednesday morning. Again, we'll continue to update you. I don't know whether or not the Chasing M's Foundation will top $6 million in donations by the time we get off the air, but I wouldn't be surprised. In fact, even in these few moments that I've been talking, kind of giving you the update on what I know, the numbers have climbed again. So now we're talking about $16,000 away from $6 million.

So I can see the numbers going up even as I talk to you. And there was an update from the family as well, or from his team that was posted on the website, and we'll share that with you. But I want you to hear from his uncle, Dorian Glenn, DeMar's uncle in Cincinnati, telling the story of what it was like for him and for the other family members as they were watching Monday in that hit that looked so routine until his nephew, their family member, staggered backward and hit the ground.

We were in Pittsburgh watching it on TV, and his little brother was there with us. And when he seen his brother drop like that, and when I tell you I've never seen him cry or scream like that, we were trying to calm him down, like, yo, it's okay. He's going to get back up.

He'll be back in the game. We'll do the woo. Next thing you know, it's 10 minutes later. They're doing chest compressions. It's a half hour later.

They're still not playing yet. I'm like, yo, what's going on? What's wrong with my nephew? And then when I say now we were all in the room crying, man, we were all in tears, man. I'm not a crier, but I never cried so hard in my life. As you can imagine, the family wanted to do something. So Damar Hamlin has some siblings, but the youngest is a brother, seven years old. Seven years old. Damar is probably his idol. At the very least, he looks up to his big brother, probably wants to be just like him. And here is this young boy who's watching all of this play out on the field and only understands really part of it, but certainly can see Damar's teammates crying.

And the entire ring of athletes that circle the ambulance and the medical workers and all of that through the eyes of a seven-year-old, I can't even imagine. And so the family that was there in Pittsburgh decided that they needed to get on the move. Man, it's been heartbreaking. I haven't been asleep yet.

I've been up since about 24 hours now. And as soon as they canceled the game, we got in the road and we drove out from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati. I mean, it felt like we drove through a hurricane with so much rain coming down. But, I mean, we weren't going to stop until we got here and be able to support my nephew, man, and just be by his side. A lot of people don't get a chance to see how loved they are while they're alive. So for him to have a situation where he could have been taken away and he has a chance to come back and see all that love that he got is truly an amazing thing. And I can't wait for him to see all the love and support that people have had for him, not just around the area but around the country and the world.

It's been amazing. I have said the same exact thing. At some point, certainly DeMar's family now realizes it, but at some point DeMar himself will become cognizant of the fact that millions of people, not just his teammates or other members of the NFL, but millions of people around the world have prayed for him and have thought about him and have talked about him. I've got friends who never mention sports to me. In fact, I wasn't even sure they knew what I did for a living. Who are reaching out to ask me about him and to say they're praying for him. I've got family members who, I didn't even know they prayed, but they're praying for him too.

So it's been pretty amazing. And I don't know why this particular young man versus, say, a police officer or another tragedy that you might see on the news. I know the NFL is a powerful entity and it transcends the world of sports.

It happened on national TV. Because of the drastic move of suspending the game in the middle of the first quarter, there's a little more to it then as well. No, maybe it's because of the eyeballs and because of the attention. But it is fairly surreal. It's not as though we see this every single day. And as I say, the NFL generally doesn't stop or really slow down for anyone or anything. But in this case, it's an extreme situation. And it's something so few of the NFL players have ever seen or experienced themselves before.

And for the NFL to react to that and to recognize that football needs to just be in the background and not important for a few days, I think is huge. And it allows these players the opportunity to care about DeMar and to focus on what matters. And that's them kind of understanding that life is fleeting and it's precious.

And yes, what they do for a living does come with inherent risks. Dorian Glenn clearly loves his nephew. And I was kind of thinking about him as he was speaking because as an aunt, to a couple of nieces who are in their 20s, so essentially the same age as as DeMar Hamlin, I can't imagine being in his shoes, but I could certainly identify with the love and the compassion and the care and feeling like the whole world would stop if this was going on, but also wanting people to understand, you know, what my nieces are about. And in his case, what his nephew is all about. Man, my nephew is so humble. He's going to truly be floored. Like he's he's going to be floored.

He's going to be in disbelief. But I mean, he shows so much love and he shows so much care and compassion. So it should reciprocate, you know, back to him because he's a genuine guy. My nephew is like a positive impact all the time from his toy drive to his coaching clinics. He comes back and do to his giveaways. I mean, he's always coming through and trying to be a positive impact for the kids and that type of influence that you can have.

I hope he creates ten more DeMar Hamlins that can come out and be inspirational to the generations behind them. So truly here, he's still here able to fight. Dorian Glenn did interviews with a variety of media outlets, including CNN.

That's on NFL Network. And one more because he is still in a medically induced coma and his uncle was asked about why that's the step they're taking. They just want him to have a better chance of recovering better. So they felt that if he's sedated, his body can heal a lot faster than if he was woke and possibly cause other complications. So they got him sedated right now. And I mean, it's just heartbreaking seeing him like that. Dorian Glenn, the uncle of DeMar Hamlin, who's been speaking out and who's done interviews. And I know for me personally, it was good to hear from a member of the family. Certainly we could put ourselves in that space and say, OK, these have got to be the emotions. But to get an update directly from the uncle is awesome and is greatly appreciated.

And I think certainly to put a face now to the family kind of brings it home even more. It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. Dion Dawkins is an offensive lineman with the Buffalo Bills. He also was doing interviews yesterday and kind of put people in that space and being on the field.

When did he realize that this was something serious and different than what we normally experience? When it comes to injuries, even players who have head injuries or have to be carted off the field. When everybody's emotion on the football field, like like I've seen Trey turn around. I've seen Dane sprint, sprint over towards him.

Dane, Dane is one of his of his best friends and they're both Pittsburgh guys. And then you like you kind of look around and you kind of see the medical staff doing their job. And, you know, like when it's like something minor, like somebody is down, but they're sitting up like guys are, you know, moving. But I got a nice pace. But like when things like this are going on, like like when they're waving really fast and calling guys on the field and calling for the elite medical staff, that's like when you really like realize that that something is really, really wrong.

And this was one of the first experiences for myself where where something like this has has happened in this type of way. Deon Dawkins speaking to CNN. He also did some interviews on Tuesday. If I'm not mistaken, he's 28, 27, 28 years old. So he's been in the league a few more years. But for him to say it was the first time that he's experienced anything like that. It's something that is being echoed around the league.

Twenty eight. Thank you, producer J. So what about the team now back in western New York?

There is no rescheduling of this game, but they do have a game coming up on Sunday against the Patriots. The team is doing what we can. You know, it's a it's a lot of sad clouds and a lot of happy spirits, a lot of happy prayers. But we are all devastated. Like when things like this happen, it's a it's a shock to to all of us. You know, it's a it's a dramatically unique thing that has happened and we're all going through it together. And honestly, the entire world is everybody like that has seen it. Our whole country, every football fan, everybody who's not even a part of football has seen and heard this story. So we're all handling it, handling it in different ways. But it is a it is a unique situation.

It is. I've been doing this for 20 years and I don't know that I've ever been in a radio studio where I'm doing four hours on the health of one player. And part of that is because we don't have any real concrete updates other than he's in critical condition. We know he's intubated. We know that he's right now needing assistance and a ventilator to help him breathe normally. But because we're in a bit of a holding pattern, I think you're seeing that expressed with different players and coaches. The hardest thing is not knowing. And yet in these last couple of days, what we're hearing are incredibly heartwarming stories of people who know him.

And to hear Dion talk about how Dane Jackson, who is known to Mar going back to their prior to their NFL days, their college days and before that, that that's how he knew something was wrong. Again, just all of us are family members. We're friends. We're co-workers. And at the very least, even if it's kind of unfathomable, we understand caring and being so scared and anxious for someone that we love in this situation where there's really nothing we can do. We're talking about a lot of alpha males here too, right?

Just men in general very often want to fix things and want to do something to make it better. And there's not really anything that they can do or we can do other than pray and hope and believe that he's going to pull through. I had a chance to catch up with Kadri Ismail, who's a former NFL wide receiver. And he himself was carted off the field multiple times.

And I tried to ask him about moving forward and how do you do it? Because at some point they do have to get back to football. That was also a question that Aaron Rodgers was asked on the Pat McAfee show. And so we'll let you hear from him a little bit as well.

And then in addition, just other voices like Mike Tomlin, even Mike Vrabel, Jerry Jones. So many members of the football community weighing in in this limbo where we are hoping for something positive with DeMar. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio. Thank you for all your support, your kind words. It's good to hear from so many of you on our Facebook page too. Good morning to you on a Wednesday while we're into January 4th now. And we appreciate you listening to CBS Sports Radio.

You are listening to the After Hours podcast. I would have felt the way I felt no matter who it was, but for it to be my nephew, man, it was especially more of a gut punch to see that. But I'm thankful that he's still here, he's still alive and he's still fighting. And like I said, we're just taking it day by day and I'm continuing to let the medical staff do what they do.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Of course, the family of DeMar Hamlin is grateful for the generosity, for the prayers, for the outpouring of support. There's an updated message on his GoFundMe page for his Chasing Ems Foundation, which by the way is now $15,000 away from eclipsing $6 million since Monday evening, which is unbelievable. Hearing a lot of different people who know DeMar come out and speak about him as a 24-year-old, second year in the NFL, I like these stories. I like to hear more about this young man that we're praying for and rooting for. And Eric Wood, who's a former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman, was part of the radio crew, was there in Cincinnati, and he shared some insight into DeMar's character. I actually got to cover him for ESPN in college as well when I spoke to his coach, Patton Arduzi, in college at the University of Pittsburgh. They had guys that were going to be drafted higher in the NFL draft, but he could not stop talking about how DeMar Hamlin was the best pro that they had in the building. Just an absolutely special young man.

The Bills target him in the draft because they wanted a guy like him in the organization. He's been nothing but a first-class model citizen from the second he walked into Buffalo. Man, it's a really personal thing for me, being a Pittsburgher. And that young man being a Pittsburgher, I've known that guy probably since he was about 12. Just got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being.

His commitment to the pursuit of his goals and dreams of doing what it is he's doing right now, which is playing in the NFL. And to watch him make personal decisions and make that a realization, it's just an honor to get to know young people like that. Had an opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him. We've played Buffalo each of the last two seasons, and he and I get to have a moment. Because it's just cool to not only appreciate these guys in terms of where they are now, but to know them since they were younger people and to watch their maturation, their development, to watch them, you know, earn what they've been chasing is just really a cool thing.

And he's an example of that. I got a lot of love for that young man. We lifted him and that organization up in prayer.

Reached out to Sean McDermott to lend whatever assistance I could. But I don't have a lot to add other than that. I just respect the fact that you guys appreciate how personal it is for me.

Not only for me, but just for all of us as people that thrive in this space. That's not obviously something that you ever want to see. Mike Tomlin sharing his personal history with Tamar Hamlin, his connection, and we're hearing it really from every locker room, from almost every player and coach. I've seen tweets, for instance, Tom Brady, how they actually stopped and had a team prayer for Tamar Hamlin and for his family.

You hear Eric Wood before that on the Today Show on NBC speaking about the character of Tamar. So it's certainly a young man that has made an impact not just in Pittsburgh where he's from or McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, which is near Pittsburgh, but he went to a Catholic high school in Pittsburgh and also played at Pitt. And then into the NFL where he's made an impact in the community in Buffalo.

So, yeah, a lot of people weighing in. Aaron Rodgers was watching the game like many of us. And when he did his weekly interview with Pat McAfee was sharing his emotions in that moment. It's one of those things where you just keep watching the coverage because you're worried about them and you want some good news and you're hoping to hear some good news. I reached out to Josh right away.

I didn't expect a response. He actually texted me back from the locker room just because he's a close friend, and I just felt for him watching his face and just putting myself in their shoes to watch somebody they love on the ground CPR. I mean, that's when it gets real. They're fighting to save this guy's life, not in the locker room or in the hospital, like on the field. I can't imagine what I'd be like to go through. So really tough night.

I was shook up, you know, still still feeling weird about it. I think it's your football mortality just comes right face to face because one of your brothers in the fraternity of the NFL is fighting for his life right now. So Aaron Rodgers with Pat McAfee. And if you not heard, the NFL has indicated the game will not be rescheduled or resumed this week. Beyond this week, we don't really have a plan. And I daresay the NFL doesn't quite have a plan yet either, though you've got to imagine there have been people in the NFL league office working around the clock on contingencies. The problem is they're out of time. They're out of real estate.

And I was mentioning this last night and earlier on the show. You've got these two teams who now have to play other games that do matter. The Bengals are scheduled to host the Ravens coming up on Sunday, though the timing for that game is still listed as TBD, the last I checked. As for the Bills, they have to take on the Patriots. And the Patriots are in a win and get in scenario. So it's a humongous game week 18 for the AFC East as well as for the AFC North. Even though Cincinnati and Baltimore are still in the playoffs, they don't yet have a division champion. And Pittsburgh is waiting to find out what happens too. So there are various dominoes that still have to drop into place in the AFC. And so for now, the NFL has chosen to move forward with week 18 and leave this game as kind of a one-off, at least for now.

I don't know what they do. If Buffalo beats New England and that top seed is still hanging in the balance, do they then try to reschedule it? One option that's been suggested is they push back the entire playoffs. But think about the number of plans that have been made around the playoffs and stadiums and broadcast rights. And I know that those don't seem like they matter. But we're talking about millions and millions of dollars and a lot of people and a lot of manpower. And these plans are made in advance. And so there are logistics. That's all I'm saying.

I'm not telling you the logistics and details are more important, but that there are actual logistics. Jerry Jones did his weekly appearance with Sean and RJ on our Dallas affiliate 105.3, the fan. He was saying that at this point they have no contingency to reschedule Bills and Bengals. And that makes sense to me.

For now, they just have to put that on the back burner. But he did also applaud the league leadership for the way that it handled Monday night. Certainly. The right decision was made relative to the health and well-being of all the family.

And certainly the Hamlin himself. But all of the right decisions were made regarding consideration of the family fans and of everyone involved. I'm glad that the uproar, the fake outrage over the NFL taking the time that it did to postpone the game.

I'm glad most of that has died down. I still say that we're talking 45 minutes essentially from the time the ambulance left the field. And the time that the NFL officially suspended the game. The teams had their equipment managers already out there on the field, kind of cleaning up.

So they knew before we did. But this is a mammoth league. There are so many people involved.

No doubt there are protocols. But at the same time, there's no precedent for this. And I think the league has done a marvelous job listening to its coaches and its NFL Players Association. And saying, you know what, for now, this is a rare occasion when football itself does not matter. And let's be fair, the NFL never gives us that message. That is never what we hear from the league. They play on Christmas for heaven's sakes. Right? They played every day of the week.

They played every single game during a pandemic without fail. And so for that reason, you have to understand the significance of this. That the league is prioritizing DeMar Hamlin and the mental health of its membership over this one game.

Even though it does lead to some obvious wrinkles and complications. Alright, coming up, a few minutes with Kadre Ismail, who's a Super Bowl champion. And I tried to ask him about how locker rooms move forward. Because there are real significant games that matter. These guys have to be in the right headspace to play.

You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. The deep breath from Giannis. And the free throw is up.

And it is good. He gets the roll. He's got a 50 piece. First time this season for Giannis as the Bucks lead by 12 now, 116 to 104. He's been kind of playing with this kind of determination.

This kind of, you know, just willing us. In games, you know, tonight we're able to win it. And, you know, he's just been phenomenal. Yeah, it's just hard to come up with all the words to describe him. So incredibly special tonight.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Yeah, if you're Mike Budenholzer or teammates of Giannis and Dennacupo, I can imagine it's hard to come up with words. But Coach Bud goes on to say that he's been playing with a kind of determination, this willing us in games. And he just hit 55 points, which is a career high. But in addition, as you hear on Bucks radio, the consistency with which he's playing right now, it's actually a goal of Giannis'. He wants to be so consistent that people think his game is boring. And to that end, he's had three straight performances of at least 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Some pretty elite company of players who've ever done that, Elgin Baylor, Wilt, and then Russell Westbrook, along with Giannis. Ten years in, and he wants to be boring in the league.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We won't give you the highlights, but take my word for it, the Oklahoma City Thunder had their way with the visiting Celtics on Tuesday night. The Thunder shoot 60%, nearly 60% from the floor, and they hit 20 of their 43 pointers. What happened, Jason Tatum? We got our ass kicked. That's what happened.

You come out, you take it for granted, that's what happens. We probably had it coming to us. It came out the last couple of games. We pick and choose when we want to play. We wasn't connected, didn't have each other's back out there, no help side of defense, we didn't guard our yard. Those young boys over there came out, and they made us look bad. They embarrassed us.

They kicked our ass, and that's what happened. It may not be the most popular thing to say, but you've got to go through some shit if you want to get to where you want to get to, whether it's good or bad, and that's just how it is. So we have to go through it, and we'll be judged by how we handle it. If we handle it the right way, then it'll be good for us.

And if we don't, then that's something that we have to address. Joe Mazzulla, the interim head coach with the Celtics before that, Jason Tatum. It's funny, I had a friend who was at the game at the peak in Oklahoma City, and she doesn't know a ton about basketball, but she loves the thunder. And she was texting me a photo to let me know that she was there, and she just said, my husband told me this is going to be a really tough game. And then they go out and score 150 points.

Yeah, not so much. They were putting on a show for you, Shell. It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page. I can barely keep up with your social media sentiments the last couple days, but I'm glad that you're engaged. I appreciate your support for the show and also for the network as we now start year number 11. Really quickly, before we get to our interview, I just refreshed again.

$11,000 away from $6 million for the Chasing M's Foundation Community Toy Drive on its GoFundMe page. Kadri Ismail is a former NFL wide receiver, won a Super Bowl ring in Baltimore, also played in Minnesota and in Indianapolis. And I wanted to pick his brain about not only his emotions as a member of this NFL fraternity, but also moving forward. How do you do it in a locker room? So a couple of minutes of my conversation with Kadri.

I started out by asking him about whether he's been in a situation like this where you're seeing a teammate who's fallen and at that point is needing help to even get into the ambulance. Not that I can recall. I mean, I've seen it where, you know, heck, I've been carried off the field. I know I've sustained a mega hit to the chest, and ironically enough, against the Buffalo Bills. And it was arguably one of the hardest hits that I've ever taken, if not the hardest hit that I've ever taken in my life.

It was up at Ralph Wilson Stadium. And my goodness, I thought, you know, my entire body was just, you know, done. Like, my whole chest, everything was just, ugh, it was crazy. But I actually went back into the locker room to examine me and went back out there on the field, which is kind of crazy, knowing what I know nowadays. But, yeah, just overall, literally today, thinking of all the times where guys have, you know, gotten hit and you see them, you know, cart off the field and there's always that thumbs-up where you're kind of like, all right, you know, you get some sort of update that is like, oh, man, I'm glad that guy's okay, but this time, you know, you're right there on the field and he has, you know, the first responders giving him CPR to revive him.

I mean, that's a whole different ballgame that is one that really, you know, it's tough to wrap your brain around. Mm, I mean, that's the type of thing you see on a TV show or in a movie, but I can't imagine watching it happen right in front of you and, again, the reaction of his teammates was so different even then when guys have to deal with a stoppage of play for a head injury or, you know, something that we have seen multiple times even this year. We have Kadri Ismail with us here. He's the Super Bowl champion with the Ravens, also part of Purple pregame and postgame on WJZ-TV in Baltimore.

It's good to have him on after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. So, Kadri, when you think about this idea of now just trying to get back to football, you know, the NFL has for now at least tabled the game between the Bengals and the Bills, and the Bills, of course, were back in western New York. How do you in a locker room turn your brain back to football and getting out there and going through all of the motions of what can be such a violent game? Well, I don't know.

I do know that it's interesting. Whether you're a former player or a player, you know when you get injured in practice, say if you're on the 40-yard line, they literally will turn around and go the opposite way and keep on practicing. You know as much as you get, you know, guys injured and knocked down, they will literally be carting them off the field, guys kind of elect their thoughts, kind of do what they do, and off you go back to playing. This one is definitely different for sure, but I think that in guys' minds, you know, you want to play, because that's in your DNA.

It's wired to operate that way. But I do also recognize there's going to be some guys that are going to have a little bit of doubt and struggle to, you know, kind of figure these things out, and I hope that from a club, each club aspect, perspective of things, that, you know, there's a person that they would have on staff to offer some sort of grief counseling so they can clear their minds and go out there to, yeah, do the game that you love, that you recognize there is an inherent risk. This is a collision sport. We just saw arguably in my lifetime that I've been watching NFL and playing the game as well.

This is arguably the worst injury that I've ever come across in my time. So at the same time, I'm hoping guys can, yeah, express themselves and mentally be able to do what it takes and go out there and play again. It's a great point that you make, though, that the NFL played through a worldwide pandemic and didn't miss a single game in 2020, somehow managed to figure it out, and really made it clear to the league, to the players, to the NFLPA, that we're going forward with this. Now, you can choose to sit out, but we're moving ahead, and yet in this particular case, the entire league has come to a halt. So we'll see how they move forward, and we do still have so much on the line coming up.

The Bengals are supposed to be facing the Ravens in Week 18. It doesn't just affect the two teams that were there, but it affects other guys who recognize it could also be them, and they could be in that same situation. That's the tough part about it. I mean, it's the league trying to wrestle with how to continue on. I know that there is a time for offseason contracts. There's a time for making the team. There's a time for actually being on the team and earning a certain amount of dollars through your contract and incentives or whatever have you. And then there's also a time for getting out there, and especially if you're on that good team and you're still playing, there's a time for you trying to chase a legacy, which is playoffs, and how does that unfold into a potential world championship.

I mean, that's the business that you're in, and I think there's going to be a lot of wrestling with it as far as the players, but I do know the league will, the train will leave the station yet again. This is the most rarest of moments that we've witnessed where the train actually stopped mid-route to collect itself because of the tragic situation that unfolded with DeMar. Kadri Ismail, Super Bowl champion, former NFL wide receiver, and he was thoughtful about it.

There are no easy answers, no precedent for this. Even as he says, I've never been part of anything like this in my career. The rest of that conversation is on our podcast, After Hours, Yes, we did talk about Lamar Jackson. Survive your Wednesday, advance. We'll be back tonight. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-04 19:04:38 / 2023-01-04 19:20:33 / 16

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