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As the NFL attempts to get back to normal following the scary situation involving Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Monday Night Football, some are taking actions. One such person is Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.
LaFleur addressed the media Wednesday and shared a long opening statement about Damar Hamlin. He also said that specialists are coming in after practice for any player who wants to talk through the situation.
LaFleur said the team discussed Hamlin at their meeting on Wednesday morning.
“It was very, very quiet in there. I know that’s something that’s been on these guys minds quite a bit,” LaFleur said.
“I think it’s tough for these guys to compartmentalize and understand that you’re thinking about that [and] you’re trying to get ready for a game.”
Additionally, LaFleur had his head athletic trainer, Brian “Flea” Engel, address the team. According to the head coach, Engel tried to allay concerns and fears of players by describing how well-staffed NFL games are in terms of medical personnel.
“[Engel] had a chance to talk to our guys … and kind of give them just how many people are there to support in case of an emergency on game day,” LaFleur said. “It sounds like everything went as good as it possibly could have in [the Damar Hamlin] situation just in terms of all the medical professionals and it’s so important that we have everybody there to help in that situation.”
Full opening statement:
Packers, LaFleur preparing for important Sunday game
Later, a reporter asked LaFleur about mental health resources available to the players. LaFleur said the team has a mental health professional on staff. Plus, he mentioned resources outside the building, and an optional session for post-practice for players who wish to talk about the situation.
LaFleur stated that some of his coaches asked about whether or not this week’s games would be pushed back. He deflected that question onto the league and praised their decision to postpone Monday Night Football.
“I’ve had a couple coaches ask [about delaying games] … it’s whatever the league decides,” LaFleur said. “I do think the league decided, obviously the correct decision the other night to postpone or cancel [Monday Night Football].”
The Packers host the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football with a postseason berth on the line. A victory over the line clinches the playoffs for the fourth-straight season.
The team has not missed the postseason since 2018, the season prior to hiring LaFleur.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ