Harrison Phillips starts Game Day at tailgate for a good cause


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Bills Defensive Tackle Harrison Phillips is still recovering from a torn ACL that cut this playing season short for him. But that doesn’t mean he had the day off Sunday.

As his teammates were arriving at the stadium to prepare to face the Dolphins, Phillips stopped by the 97 Rock tailgate party.

“I’m a grill master back home,” Phillips told News 4, “so this shouldn’t be too challenging.”

Unfortunately, Phillips, who’s known to fans as “Horrible Harry”, has had more than his fair share of challenges lately.

His injury in Week 3 took him off the playing field and put him on a long road to recovery.

“Recovery is going good. I lost my crutches and I’m back to walking normal, so that’s a big step in the recovery process, making things a lot easier,” Phillips noted.

“I’m working my tail off and I know that I’ll be back next year,” he added.

In the meantime, he’s using his time to support a good cause.

Sunday morning, he was meeting with fans at the 97 Rock tailgate to help raise money for his non-profit, the Playmakers.

Phillips says he helped found that charity originally to build literacy skills and character values in at-risk kids. The mission has grown from there.

“As of lately, we’ve been working with a lot of kids with developmental differences and special needs and so we want to help bring football and sports and the amazing character and all the amazing things sports teach you to kids who would probably never get a chance to learn it without our camps,” Phillips said.

Aside from the camps, Phillips says there are other events planned, including a day at Dave and Busters for the kids in November. Then, his so-called Playmaker Pups will be helping fulfill wish lists for kids at Oishei Children’s Hospital for the holidays.

Donations, like those Phillips was trying to collect on Sunday, help make that possible.

The Playmakers were the beneficiary of a 50/50 raffle Sunday morning, and fans were encouraged to make additional donations.

97 Rock DJ Dave Jickster says this is just a small taste of the good Phillips is committed to doing in our community.

“He’s just like, ‘Everything happens for a reason. Now I can help out Buffalo more,'” Jickster said. “Those words coming out of his mouth, they should have floored me, but they didn’t because I’ve known him for over a year and I’d expect that to come out of his mouth.

If you missed the tailgate, but would still like to support the Playmakers, click here.

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