Damar Hamlin has made a miraculous recovery after suffering cardiac arrest against the Cincinnati Bengals, but seven months later fans were once again reminded of the fragility of NFL players.

New England Patriots rookie Isaiah Bolden was stretchered off the field early in the fourth quarter of the Patriots preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night.

Fortunately, despite the injury looking very serious to those watching the game, the player seems to be okay. The Patriots initially said the safety could feel his extremities and he has subsequently been released from the Aurora Bay Medical Center where he was examined and treated overnight. 

Bolden later took to social media to thank everyone for their prayers, saying he was looking forward to getting back with his teammates.

However, with the Hamlin incident still in the back of players’ heads, the match couldn’t continue. Both teams agreed to stop the game with 10:29 minutes left on the clock. The Patriots were leading 21-17 the moment the preseason match was interrupted.  

A Reminder of the Fragility of Life

In a statement on Isaiah Bolden, the Patriots thanked the medical staff at Aurora Bay Medical Center, as well as the medical teams of both organizations for their immediate response and care.

Special teams player and Patriots captain Matthew Slater said his teammate’s injury should be a reminder for everyone that life is fragile and that sooner or later people must “wrestle with” that reality. 

Slater thought it was unfortunate that something like that happened in the context of a preseason game, as it should be “a joyful, celebratory experience.”

The New England captain added that the Patriots’ second game of the preseason was “not the AFC championship” so there was no point in continuing as neither team was “playing for records. 

When an injury as serious-looking as Bolden’s happens, Slater said, players react in different ways, and from what he could see, the Patriots were shaken by the incident.

Bolden hit the ground immediately after a collision with teammate Calvin Munson. The rookie suffered a blow to the head that left him lying on the field. Patriots’ cornerback Jalen Mills said that the incident looked like one of those freak collision hits that you see from time to time in the NFL, but you wish you didn’t. The cornerback couldn’t see too much but thought Bolden’s eyes were open and he was moving. 

The New England Patriots can now only hope that Isaiah Bolden will be as lucky as Damar Hamlin and not only recover from the injury but return to the field too.