‘It’s a different vibe;’ Fans describe feeling at Paycor Stadium days after Damar Hamlin’s injury

While many fans geared up to watch the Cincinnati Bengals face the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, they couldn’t help but remember what happened on that same field almost a week earlier.

Dozens of fans from around the state tailgated outside Paycor Sunday morning as they prepared to cheer on the Bengals— but some fans admitted the gathering had a somber note.

Noah Johnson of Columbus was at Monday’s game when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and went into cardiac arrest. He described the feeling in the crowd when Hamlin was injured.

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“It was a lot of excitement going into the game. It was really big ... then when Damar got hurt ... and as it progressed and everyone kind of figured out what was happening it was confusion and sadness,” Johnson said.

Lara Cavanaugh of Bellbrook was also at Monday night’s game.

“It was so somber. We could see from our seats them doing CPR right away ... we thought he had passed by the teammates crying,” Cavanaugh recalled.

David Homan of Springboro said excitement is still in the air Sunday, but it’s hard to compare to Monday’s turnout.

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“It’s a little more somber at least early on, Monday we were down here, and it was off the hook crazy, crazier than the playoff game last year. It’s a different vibe, we think once everyone gets inside it’s going to pick up,” Homan said.

Hamlin continues to recover and cheer on his team from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Bengals and Ravens players alike were seen wearing “Love for Damar” t-shirts and hoodies as they warmed up Sunday.

Many Bengals fans said they were happy to see their team play and be back on the field and continue to support Hamlin in his recovery.

“We’re all praying. As Bengals and Bills fans were both praying,” Johnson said.