Los Angeles Rams DB Jalen Ramsey Shares Personal Connection to Damar Hamlin Situation
Jalen Ramsey is known for his pregame comments, which are often confrontational in nature.
Leading into the Los Angeles Rams’ 2022-23 season finale, Ramsey traded encouragement for excitement as he and the rest of the NFL prepare to return to action following the scary situation surrounding Buffalo Bills quarterback Damar Hamlin. Although Hamlin has made medical progress since collapsing during Monday’s canceled game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the incident has some players taking a hard look at their own mortality.
Count Ramsey among them if his recent comments before the Rams face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday (1:25 p.m. PT, Fox) are any indication.
“I’m going to keep walking, I’m going to keep living my life the way I do and I’m going to do things that I love to do,” Ramsey said. “Every day I’m still going to make the decision to go do what I love and do it at an elite level and fearlessly and with as much heart and passion as I possibly can. I honestly think it would be the same for a lot of people if you asked them that.”
The Hamlin incident is a little personal for Ramsey: The Rams quarterback was close friends with Wayne Jones III, a freshman at Tennessee State who collapsed during a team practice in 2013. The tragedy gave Rams a new perspective for his football career.
“My childhood best friend, he died on the football field at Tennessee State, Wayne Jones, in 2013,” Ramsey explained. “So ever since then, I’ve always had a perspective that this could happen and every time I go out there and practice, play, whatever, I’m comfortable with taking that risk with my life. That was kind of the only thing. that I remember at the time in 2013, the only thing that really gave me a sense of peace about it was that he died doing what he wanted to do.”
“I don’t want to see that for anybody obviously, so I’m glad that’s not the situation here. But for me personally, that’s always been something I can live with.”
Hamlin’s situation has left a solemn atmosphere in the Rams locker room, and Ramsey praised the way receiver Brandon Powell’s teammate has handled the incident. Powell had previously formed a friendship with Hamlin when the two shared a 2021 training camp in Buffalo.
Powell previously credited Ramsey, an undisputed leader of Los Angeles, with helping him through the grieving and healing process. But Ramsey felt that Powell’s own psyche helped him more than anything.
“I didn’t feel like I was helpful in helping him get through it,” Ramsey said. “I appreciated BP being open and honest about things so we could talk to him about it. But I didn’t really think much of it. That’s who we are regardless.
“Even if it wasn’t this situation, BP can yell at us about anything and I’ll be the same way with him, I’ll analyze the emotions and then I’ll get to some facts and then I’ll figure out where to i go from there and try to help and support him. That’s how it is at the end of the day.”