Giants’ Nick McCloud pays tribute to former teammate Damar Hamlin after ’emotional’ stint

PHILADELPHIA — Giants cornerback Nick McCloud, 24, threw away Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second quarter Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. McCloud stood up and held up three fingers in honor of his friend and former Bills teammate Damar Hamlin, who was wearing No. 3.

“It was just an emotion,” McCloud said after the Giants’ 22-16 loss. “Even going out to warm up was just a feeling. Because when I was [Buffalo], he and I would warm up together every day before practice. So it was emotional the whole way, from coming out to warm up to getting the sack and making a play for the team and knowing he was going to see the game.”

Bills safety Hamlin, 24, is recovering from a scary medical. He went into cardiac arrest last week when he collapsed after being hit routinely by Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. It was a life-threatening situation and Hamlin is on the road to recovery.

Nick McCloud sacks Jalen Hurts during the Giants’ loss to the Eagles on Jan. 8.
Damar Hamlin
Damar Hamlin was teammates with Nick McCloud when he was with the Bills.
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Giants safety Jason Pinnock was Hamlin’s college teammate for four years in Pittsburgh and was too upset to discuss Hamlin’s condition last week.

“Until I finally saw him, he was able to move around, take calls and talk to people,” Pinnock said. “I won’t rest until I see him.”

The Giants wore jerseys in Hamlin’s honor with the number 3, “Love for the Strokes.”

“I FaceTimed him from the locker room,” Pinnock said. “I sent him a picture of me in the shirt before the game and he was happy to see it. Any chance to talk to him was good.”

CB Adoree’ Jackson did not play and missed the final seven games of the season with a sprained knee. Hopefully he can return for the playoffs in Minneapolis.

“We take it day by day,” Jackson said. “If I could answer you, I would, but that’s how the process goes, you know what I mean?”

It was amazing to see starter Darius Slayton on the field late in the fourth quarter. … Rookie Evan Neal started at right tackle. The only other starter to play on the offensive line was Nick Gates, who moved from his usual left guard spot to start at center in place of John Feliciano.

NY Post Photo Illustration

The Giants’ backups were down 16-0 at halftime and 19-0 in the third quarter before rallying against the Eagles’ starters. “I was proud of our guys, the way they competed,” coach Brian Daboll said. “Unfortunately you are playing less, you want to win every game. There were no results, but the whole process and preparation was as good as it has been all year.”

All seven inactive players for the Giants were starters. Four healthy scratches: S Julian Love, RB Saquon Barkley, LT Andrew Thomas and DL Dexter Lawrence. Three injured players: Jackson, DL Leonard Williams and OLB Azeez Ojulari.


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