Colts Safety Rodney Thomas Immediately Drove To Cincinnati To Be With High School Teammate Damar Hamlin, Spoke To Him Bedside

Indianapolis Colts rookie safety Rodney Thomas learned the news about the Damar Hamlin situation via a FaceTime call from his dad on Monday night. He sat on FaceTime with his parents as the real-life nightmare involving his former high school teammate and very close friend unfolded.

Then, he made a decision, the decision to get in his car and drive the over 100 miles from Indianapolis to Cincinnati to be with his friend.

"I had a goal," Thomas told the media inside the Colts' locker room on Wednesday. "I knew where I was going, so I just got on the road and I just went. Laser-focused."

Thomas, who talked with Hamlin prior to the Bills' Monday night game in Cincinnati, arrived at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to find his friend sedated and intubated in the Intensive Care Unit.

He sat next to Hamlin, held his hand, and talked to his friend.

"I know he could hear me," Thomas said. "Even if he couldn't hear me, it didn't matter. I said what I had to say."

While seeing someone in the ICU can make you more worrisome, seeing Hamlin had the opposite effect on Thomas. He explained that it put him more at ease.

"It calmed me way down," Thomas said. "It made the trip home a lot easier. I could go home and know he's gonna be straight, I got him, we all got him, everybody's behind him. You see what's going on, everybody's behind him.


Thomas believes he'll see Hamlin walking out of that hospital under his own power.

"And when he walks out of there and he sees the support he has, it's going to be a real special day."

"No doubt in my mind," Thomas said. "He's a fighter. No other thought in my mind of him walking out under his own power."

The latest update on Hamlin's status came on Wednesday afternoon via the Bills as the team explained that he remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted Wednesday and overnight.

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.