Count one of Jim Kelly's former teammates among those who was moved by the former Buffalo Bills quarterback's appearance at the National Football League Draft late last week, following a successful battle with cancer.
Kelly, who underwent treatment for sinus cancer last year and was declared 'cancer free' last September, was in attendance to announce the Bills' second-round selection Friday, Ronald Darby, during the nationally-televised event.
Before making the announcement Kelly received a standing ovation, not just by Bills fans in attendance in Chicago but by other fans as well. It generated widespread commentary on social media.
"It was another perfect moment," said Thurman Thomas, a longtime teammate of Kelly with the Buffalo Bills. "From the time when he announced he didn't have cancer, that was a big moment. And to be somewhere else, knowing that you have beat it, and you're in Chicago and in front of millions of people and they give you a standing ovation, that's pretty powerful."
Thomas, along with Kelly, is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Kelly's cancer fight last year was chronicled by his daughter, Erin, via social media and in the newly released book, Kelly Tough, co-authored by Erin Kelly and Jim Kelly's wife, Jill.