Under the revamped rules for selecting an NFL MVP, voters cast their ballots for five different players for the first time this season, ranking them in order of preference. As a result, one voter had the chance to honor Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington for his heroic role in Damar Hamlin’s on-field medical emergency in a rather unique way.
ESPN host Suzy Klober cast her fifth-place MVP vote for Kellington, who performed CPR on Hamlin after the 24-year-old safety collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game against the Bengals earlier this month, according to Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press. Kolber told the AP that the vote was a “symbolic gesture representing ‘everyone’ who carries the weight of that job, every week. They rarely get the recognition they deserve.”
Under the AP’s new system, votes for MVP are weighted depending on where the voters placed candidates on the ballot. Because Kolber put Kellington at fifth on hers, the vote for the Bills athletic trainer had no impact on top five finishers, per Maaddi.
The full MVP voting breakdown will be revealed at the NFL honors ceremony on Feb. 9.
Hamlin was discharged from the hospital Wednesday, just nine days after he collapsed during the game against Cincinnati. Kellington administered CPR to Hamlin on the field, and the Bills safety was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Since his medical emergency, Hamlin has steadily improved and has returned to Buffalo. He was able to visit his teammates in person on Saturday and sent a touching message of support to the Bills before their playoff game against the Dolphins.
This content was originally published here.