Wide Receiver Isaiah Hodgins
Q: On the possibility of being seriously injured
A: We go on that same field and there's a possibility of something like that happens, but it also hurts just because personally knowing him and playing with him for a couple of years, and just knowing how good of a dude he is and how hard of a worker. He's a late round guy, had to fight for his spot, kind of like me and was playing really well this year, so it was tough to see something like that happen.
Q: What was (safety Damar Hamlin) like to play within Buffalo?
A: Like I said he was a great dude. If you guys would've asked me about this last week, I would have all the same stuff to say about him. He was a hard worker, brought energy every day, it's rare that you see him moping around or anything, high energy guy, just fun to play with. Fun to just do stuff with off the field, on the field, everything. A good dude.
Q: We're seeing so much outpouring of emotion, love, and support from players around the league. Talk about the family, the fraternity that is this brotherhood.
A: It's definitely just good to see that, and I hope that he's able to see that. The amount of just love and support from everybody, from different sports. From our sport to his locker room, the support around the league of just how many people are pulling for him. It's good to see to have everyone come together, support him, and I hope for the best for him.
Q: How is your heart worrying about him?
A: It's tough. Again, just knowing him on a personal level I'm just trying to keep in contact with as many people in that organization and trying to get updates to see, trying to stay posted because it is tough. I can't imagine what his family, close relatives, are really going through right now.
Q: How hard was it in practice? What was it like to go through practice today?
A: I would say this whole week is going to be a little challenging. I would say for players on our team, around the league, players on the Bills, players everywhere just knowing that is a possibility. I'm sure a lot of people have said it on ESPN or whatever, we know that it's a violent game and there's an opportunity of injury and tearing something, but rarely does it cross your head like, 'I'm not going to be able to go home and see my family'. Just the fact that it became a reality is a little scary, but we're praying for the best and hoping for the best.
Q: Does the practice field give you some escape mentally for a little bit to get away from those thoughts?
A: Yeah, I think usually that's what a lot of people often use football for. Whether it's personal stuff or stuff like that it's just to keep going and it kind of takes your mind away from it. You just have to find that mental block in your head to kind of like keep everything aligned at the moment and just try to keep pushing forward. But it's tough man. I'm praying for him and hoping the best for him. I'm just hoping he pulls through.
Q: How are the meetings today with the medical experts and psychologists, how were they helpful?
A: Those are helpful just getting insight from all the doctors and people just having that reassurance that there is a lot of people to help us just in case there is a moment like that, that happens again in the future with anyone. Just good for the mental health side of things too which is knowing that they're people there to help but also that there's people within this building that we can talk to that if we are feeling a certain type of way or if we're a little anxious or nervous, or anything, that there's people on our side.
Q: Is there a strangeness when it happens? You've gone up against him in practice, so I assume you've talked to him a lot and things like that?
A: Yeah, it is just tough but that's my brother. I've got nothing but love for him and his family, that whole locker room in Buffalo is just real tight knit, real close, offense, defense, everything. So, everyone was able to hang with everyone, so he's defiantly a brother of mine. I'm praying, pulling for him. I was super excited to watch that game, I was watching with my wife just sitting there, and then that happened and it felt like I was there, and it felt like a heartbreak. Again, just praying the best for him.
Q: What'd you do the rest of that night? Just sit and watch and try to find updates like the rest of us?
A: Yeah, literally. It was hard to sleep. It was tough man, just to try to act like nothing happened. I don't' feel like any regular person or human can do that. So, yeah it was tough the rest of the night and even the days to follow.
Q: You guys have a lot of connections between a lot of guys here directly to that team. How much is it still a constant topic in the locker room? It's a constant topic everywhere outside the locker room, I'm just curious how much you guys talk about it in here?
A: There's been some discussions especially the day following of just, how things were handled, and people's opinions and just trying to get updates. It's been talked about and quite frankly it's going to be hard for people not to talk about it. It's this rare even that hasn't really happened in a while. So, it's tough, but we're all rooting for him.
Q: From the outsider's perspectives, how do you compartmentalize that and play a football game a week later?
A: It's tough. I don't think anyone just goes out there and completely forgets about it. Personally, at least that's how I think about it. You've got to do your best, whether you've got to dedicate the game to him or just go all out just know that he would want you to do that. It is tough just knowing that happened and I can't imagine what the Bills players are going through just knowing that they have to go out there next week, without their brother there.