The Las Vegas Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs showed support for Damar Hamlin before the first NFL game since the Buffalo Bills safety’s collapse.
He posted on Instagram on Saturday that “the love has been overwhelming”.
Players from the Raiders and Chiefs wore black T-shirts with ‘Love for Damar’ and a three – Hamlin’s jersey number – on them prior to their game.
The Bills have said Hamlin is making “continued progress” yet remains in a “critical condition”.
Hamlin added on his social media post: “When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you three times as much.
“I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out.
“If you know me you know this is only going to make me stronger. On a long road – keep praying for me.”
Superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes wore a top with a graphic of the Bills player and ‘Hamlin strong’ written on it before the Chiefs’ final regular season game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Hamlin’s name and number was displayed on screens inside and outside the stadium, while the number three on the 30-yard mark had a painted blue outline, one of the Bills’ colours.
The Bills will wear number three patches on their jerseys when they host the New England Patriots on Sunday in their first game since Hamlin collapsed against the Bengals in Ohio.
Hamlin has had his breathing tube removed and in a tweet the Bills cited his doctors by saying his neurologic function remains intact and that he has been able to talk to his family and care team.
The NFL cancelled the Bills’ game against the Bengals in the wake of the incident.
NFL owners subsequently approved changes to the AFC play-off structure given the outcome of the game would have affected play-off seedings, with both sides already having secured post-season spots.
The Bills and Bengals will have their post-season positions determined by their winning percentage over their completed 16 games – instead of the full 17 – after the final round of games take place this weekend.
The AFC Championship game could be played at a neutral site if the home team ordinarily would have been settled by the result of the cancelled game between the Bengals and Bills.
Hamlin, who has been in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, joined a meeting with his team via Facetime on Friday and said “Love you boys”.
He suffered cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin fell on his back to the ground after the collision and received more than 30 minutes of on-the-field medical care, during which he was resuscitated once, according to the player’s friend and marketing agent Jordon Rooney.
Support for the second-year Bills player has poured in since the accident.
A GoFundMe page for a toy drive launched by Hamlin has amassed more than $7m (£5.9m).
Several NFL players have donated to the cause, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.
Hamlin was drafted to the NFL in 2021 from the University of Pittsburgh, where he played college football.