Damar Hamlin

Latest On Bills S Damar Hamlin

It’s been a long road for Bills safety Damar Hamlin as he’s continued to recover from his on-field cardiac incident in early January. A long road remains in front of him, as well, but early indications were that Hamlin had a desire to return to the field and play professional football again. According to Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN, Hamlin’s intentions remain focused on playing in the NFL again as things continue to trend “in the right direction.”

The early indications came directly from Hamlin but came with several future medical evaluations to undergo and several expert opinions to be sought. The recent updated information comes from general manager Brandon Beane, who has been very involved in Hamlin’s recovery process, so far.

Beane visited the second-year safety this week, and Hamlin once again confirmed his intentions. Beane explained that there is at least one more doctor visit lined up for Hamlin but that things are “trending in the right direction.”

“We’ll get him through all (his medical consultations),” Beane said of the plans moving forward for Hamlin, “and then we’ll make sure all of our medical people are hearing all those opinions on each visit and make sure that we’re all on the same page of what it would like.”

As far as a timeline for a decision, Beane believes that Hamlin’s medical evaluations and consultations should be wrapping up in April, allowing the team and Hamlin to make a fully informed decision. He said that the date can always change if a doctor in April says they would like to see Hamlin back in their office in May, but so far, everything has checked out up to this point.

The Bills have no need to rush Hamlin back onto the field. The team returns starting safeties Jordan Poyer, who recently re-signed to a new deal to remain in Buffalo, and Micah Hyde, who missed most of last season with a foot injury. Hyde’s injury was what pushed Hamlin into a starting role last season, and with Hyde returning to the field, Hamlin will be allowed to work his way back to the field without the pressures of needing to perform as one of the team’s top two safeties.

However long it takes for Hamlin to return to 100-percent, a return to the field would be nothing short of a miraculous outcome after what we witnessed on that field in January. We at PFR truly wish Hamlin the best in his rehabilitation and health as things continue to trend is a positive direction for the 24-year-old.

Bills S Damar Hamlin Intends To Resume Playing Career

A key moment of both the NFL Honors presentation and the lead-in to Super Bowl LVII were tributes to Bills safety Damar Hamlin and the medical personnel responsible for performing CPR on him following his on-field cardiac arrest. With a significant portion of his recovery behind him, the question of whether he intends to return to the field has been raised.

The 24-yar-old spent time at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on a ventilator before ultimately being able to breathe and speak on his own. That led to his discharge and return to Buffalo, where he was able to watch the team’s playoff contests in person. He is currently on IR, but a decision in terms of activation in time for the 2023 season obviously does not need to made any time soon.

Hamlin is set to receive multiple expert opinions with respect to his cardiac health before arriving at a final decision, as noted by Mark Maske of the Washington Post. The league’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, indicated over the weekend that no special NFL or NFLPA clearance will be required for the former sixth-rounder should he and his advisors decide he is able to play again.

“It’s his decision,” Sills added, in reference to Hamlin. “And he is the person that will need to drive that decision, and then we’ll all line up and support that… I think right now the focus is on his recovery and his continued improvement. And then there will be another day and time to discuss all that. But it will be strictly led by him and those that are close to him. And the Buffalo medical staff, I know, has, as I said, already engaged and will engage a lot of experts to help provide input and opinions into that process.”

Hamlin provided further clarity on his plans shortly after those remarks. In an interview with Fox Sports, he said that the plan is currently for him to resume playing at some point (Twitter link via ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg). Of course, no firm timeline is in place to determine if that goal is attainable.

“Eventually,” the Pitt alum elaborated, on the subject of his return-to-play potential. “That’s always the goal. Like I said, as a competitor, I’m trying to do things just to keeping advancing my situation. But I’m allowing that to be in God’s hands. I’m just thankful he gave me a second chance.”

Hamlin is under contract for two more years, and showed his potential for much of the 2022 campaign while playing a starting role in place of Micah Hyde. The Bills would therefore happily welcome him back, something which remains his target as the offseason unfolds.

Latest On Bills S Damar Hamlin

JANUARY 11: Hamlin is heading home. He is being discharged from the Buffalo hospital, the Bills announced (on Twitter). After a series of tests Tuesday, Bills medical personnel and the staff at the Buffalo hospital determined Hamlin has progressed to the point he can continue his rehab at home and at the team facility.

JANUARY 9: Damar Hamlin left the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday, announcing (via Twitter) a return to Buffalo a week after his frightening injury brought the NFL world to a halt. Hamlin will now receive treatment at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.

The Bills safety continues to make significant strides. Hamlin, who needed to be resuscitated last week at Paycor Stadium after suffering cardiac arrest during the since-cancelled Bills-Bengals game, has resumed walking and is undergoing physical therapy, his Cincinnati doctors announced (via ESPN.com’s Alaina Getzenberg). Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane visited the second-year player Monday in Buffalo.

Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC,” Hamlin said (via Twitter). “Happy to be back in Buffalo. The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home!

The Bills placed Hamlin on IR late last week. Although Hamlin’s progress has been a tremendous development, doctors said last week it is too soon to know if he will be able to play football again. As Hamlin recovers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes the Bills reached an agreement with the NFL and NFLPA to pay his full salary while he is on IR (Twitter link).

Hamlin, 24, has earned most of his $825K base salary this season. An standard IR split would have resulted in nearly $21K less last week, Rapoport tweets. This arrangement carrying over to 2023 would result in Hamlin earning his full $940K base if he is placed on an injured list to start next season, but it is obviously too early to determine if that will be necessary. Hamlin’s four-year, $3.64MM rookie contract runs through 2024.

Damar Hamlin Roundup: Bills-Bengals Resumption, AFC Alterations, More

With Bills safety Damar Hamlin continuing to make progress in his recovery, and the NFL having moved forward with their re-worked playoff scenarios for the AFC, attention will now increasingly turn to the upcoming postseason. Here is a quick roundup, though, of some notes pertaining to the game in which he suffered cardiac arrest, and the process by which the new seeding parameters were arrived at:

  • Much has been made about the league’s intention of resuming the Buffalo-Cincinnati contest after Hamlin was taken off the field via ambulance. The ESPN broadcast of the game mentioned a five-minute warm-up period being relayed to both teams – something which NFL EVP Troy Vincent has, on multiple occasions, emphatically denied. Detailing the moments after Hamlin was resuscitated on the field, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that an official told the Bengals a 10-minute warm-up period would take place before resuming the game. Further conversations ensured, however, which included Bills head coach Sean McDermott stating that he was willing to forfeit the game if it ensured it was not played on Monday night. The Bengals, Florio adds, were accommodating of the Bills’ wishes, though they were under the impression the contest would be finished on Tuesday until realizing the Bills had retuned to Buffalo before the league’s ultimate cancellation decision.
  • That move led to the modified AFC structure for playoff seeding, affecting the Bills’ and Bengals’ abilities to clinch the top spot in the conference. When speaking about the owners resolution passed on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell described it as “a focused approach that would only affect four teams” (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero). One of main consequences of the realignment was the ability the Chiefs had to clinch the No. 1 seed with a win on Saturday (which they did) and the decision to move any potential Chiefs-Bills AFC title game to a neutral site – a scenario which is in play given Buffalo’s win today.
  • Another, of course, was the amendment stating that home field for a Bengals-Ravens Wild Card matchup would have been decided by a coin flip had the Ravens won today (which they did not). Pelissero’s colleague Mike Garafolo tweets that proposals were in place to split the aforementioned amendments being voted on, but they did not pass. A coin flip being used to determine the top seed was not discussed, he adds (Twitter link). Throughout the process, the Chiefs abstained from voting given the direct effects the rule changes had on their path to the top spot in the AFC, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).
  • The NFL also considered the possibility of the Ravens and Bengals playing their Wild Card matchup (which was a distinct possibility at the time, and has since been confirmed through today’s results) at a neutral site (Twitter link via Pelissero). Challenges with ticket sales and other logistics prevented that idea from gaining traction, however. Cincinnati and Baltimore will play each other for the third time this year – and second in as many weeks – during the first round of the postseason, with the Bengals playing host due to their superior record.
  • Competition committee chair Rich McKay said, when asked about the league’s decision not to simply base playoff implications on win percentage, “We don’t capture everything in every rule. When you face situations, you have to try to make adjustments. [This situation was] not that different from some of the COVID-related issues” (Twitter link via Pelissero and Garafolo’s colleague Ian Rapoport). No games were cancelled due to the pandemic, but the NFL has likewise arrived at a response to the unique situation presented by last Monday’s contest not being completed. Now, all affected teams will move forward with their eyes on a playoff run.

Bills Place S Damar Hamlin On IR, Activate CB Christian Benford

In what amounts to a procedural move, the Bills placed Damar Hamlin on IR on Friday. Hamlin has made tremendous progress in his recovery after a frightening scene Monday in Cincinnati, but doctors do not know yet if the young safety resuming his career is realistic at this point.

To replace Hamlin on their 53-man roster, the Bills activated cornerback Christian Benford from IR. A sixth-round rookie, Benford had carved out a role for himself prior to going on IR. He will be a welcome reinforcement for a Bills team that will resume its Super Bowl quest Sunday.

The Bills chose Benford 185th overall out of Division I-FCS Villanova. His lower-profile path notwithstanding, Benford played ahead of first-round pick Kaiir Elam as a starter early in the season. During the nine games in which the 6-foot-1 defender has played this season, he has started five and seen a 62% snap share on defense.

Benford and Tre’Davious White played in just one game together — the Bills’ Thanksgiving tilt in Detroit — but the former’s oblique injury sidelined him for the team’s next five games and the since-cancelled Monday-night outing. The Bills have White, Elam, Dane Jackson and slot Taron Johnson in place as their top corners. It will be interesting how the AFC East champions reintegrate Benford, who will presumably slide into a depth role.

Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest at Paycor Stadium led to a heroic effort by the medical staffers — both at the stadium and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. After being given CPR and resuscitated at the stadium, Hamlin was breathing on a ventilator for two days. The 24-year-old defender progressed to a breathing tube, which he now no longer needs. Hamlin worked his way back to addressing his teammates via Facetime.

Football-wise, the Bills do need to replace the second-year talent. The Pittsburgh product started 14 games for the team since Micah Hyde went down with a season-ending injury in September. Hamlin’s 91 tackles are tied for second on the Bills. The team has Pro Bowler Jordan Poyer anchoring its back line, and it reacquired Dean Marlowe at the trade deadline. Fourth-year defender Jaquan Johnson has played 225 defensive snaps — third-most among the team’s safeties this season. Hamlin’s 845 lead the position group.

Latest On Bills S Damar Hamlin’s Recovery

Another batch of positive developments has surfaced from Damar Hamlin‘s recovery Friday. The hospitalized defender no longer needs his breathing tube and was able to speak to Bills teammates, the team announced.

After speaking to his family and select staffers at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Hamlin told Bills teammates, via Facetime, “Love you boys” (Twitter links). Doctors removed Hamlin’s breathing tube overnight. Hamlin cannot say much yet, but his ensuing words to his teammates, understandably, “brought the house down,” SI.com’s Albert Breer tweets.

Hamlin’s doctors have indicated he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from cardiac arrest. The 24-year-old safety collapsed on the field in the first quarter of the Bills-Bengals matchup Monday. He required CPR at Paycor Stadium, where he was resuscitated, and as of Wednesday needed to be on a ventilator. By Thursday, Hamlin had awakened and was using his hands and feet.

Doctors said Thursday that Hamlin appeared to be neurologically intact, and the Bills’ latest statement indicates the same. During Hamlin’s short address to his teammates, Sean McDermott said he gave them a thumbs-up and “flexed on them,” ESPN.com’s Alaina Getzenberg tweets. Bills GM Brandon Beane stayed in Cincinnati through Thursday.

I simply asked what would I want someone to do for my son,” Beane said. “I have two boys. Sean wanted to stay, too, but we decided he had to be with and lead our team back in Buffalo. It was a rollercoaster.

A number of NFL tributes will take place this weekend; his charity has received nearly $8MM in donations. Hamlin’s doctors said Thursday it is far too soon to know if he will ever play football again, but considering where this situation was as recently as midweek, these latest rounds of updates have illustrated a remarkable turn of events.

Doctors: Damar Hamlin Has Made ‘Substantial Improvement’

More good news is coming out regarding Damar Hamlin‘s recovery. Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center confirmed the Bills safety has made “substantial improvement” after being hospitalized due to cardiac arrest.

Hamlin’s neurological condition and function appear intact, Dr. Timothy Pritts said Thursday (via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, on Twitter). Hamlin has not regained the ability to speak and is using a breathing tube, but he asked his nurse, via pen and paper on a clipboard, who won Monday night’s Bills-Bengals game, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Hamlin remains critically ill, according to the doctors, but he has resumed the use of his hands and feet.

Both doctors and the Bills addressed Hamlin’s neurological functions, and Dr. William Knight said the Pittsburgh-area native has been holding many people’s hands in his room over the past several hours (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). While Hamlin will need to progress to breathing on his own, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo adds (via Twitter) doctors are now discussing him being sent home.

Doctors are still determining the cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, with commotio cordis — an extremely rare condition that emerges after chest trauma produces waves of electricity that can alter heart rhythm — being one of the possibilities, Garafolo tweets. Hamlin will need to resume breathing on his own to be upgraded to stable condition, the Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski tweets.

The doctors have informed Hamlin it is far too soon to know if he will be able to play football again, via ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter), but considering where this situation was as recently as Wednesday, that is a secondary concern. Dr. Knight confirmed Hamlin had a pulse and then lost it while surrounded by medical personnel. The CPR performed at Paycor Stadium resuscitated Hamlin, who suddenly fell backward after making a first-quarter tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

Doctors said Hamlin has been made aware his charity — the Chasing M’s Foundation — has received more than $7MM in donations, Skurski tweets. Numerous NFL players and coaches have made donations. The developments of the past 24 hours have revitalized the Bills, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler, who adds (via Twitter) the team erupted with applause after Damar’s father, Mario Hamlin, informed the team of his son’s progress. We will continue to provide updates on Hamlin’s condition as news develops.

Latest On Bills S Damar Hamlin’s Recovery

JANUARY 5: The Bills released a statement Thursday morning indicating Hamlin has shown “remarkable improvement” over the past day. The team said (via Twitter) Hamlin’s lungs continue to heal, and members of his family informed NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe that the young defender is neurologically intact (video link). While the Bills statement said Hamlin remains “critically ill,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports he opened his eyes Wednesday night (Twitter links).

Doctors believe Hamlin is ahead of schedule in his recovery, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Damar’s father, Mario Hamlin, addressed the team Wednesday and informed the players of the progress his son has made, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

JANUARY 4: Damar Hamlin remains under sedation in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, but updates continue to emerge. Hamlin’s recovery effort is “moving in a positive direction,” according to his marketing representative (via NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe, video link). Hamlin remains in critical condition; the Bills recently announced (via Twitter) he has shown signs of improvement.

Hamlin is on a ventilator, and reports indicated he had progressed from needing 100% of the ventilator’s oxygen to requiring around 50% by Tuesday night. Hamlin’s agent also said his client’s oxygen levels have improved, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com adds. Wednesday morning, doctors have seen the “promising readings” they had hoped for by this point, Coley Harvey of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Medical personnel performed CPR on Hamlin for multiple minutes. Although Hamlin’s uncle indicated resuscitation was twice required following his nephew’s cardiac arrest, the family said Wednesday (via Harvey, on Twitter) the 24-year-old defensive back only needed to be resuscitated once. That instance occurred on the field at Paycor Stadium.

Hamlin’s first-quarter tackle on Tee Higgins, which led to the cardiac arrest and an ambulance transporting the second-year safety to the hospital, initially preceded a short stretch in which it looked like the Bills-Bengals game would resume. The NFL has pushed back on the reported five-minute warmup period initially announced by ESPN, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes (via Twitter) multiple Bengals coaches heard “five minutes” — a usual timeframe following a major injury — regarding a return to play.

The ensuing on-field meeting between Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor led to the players returning to the locker room, Breer adds. Taylor said Wednesday that McDermott told him, “I need to be at the hospital with Damar and I shouldn’t be coaching this game.” The two teams re-emerged from their respective locker rooms in street clothes, shifting their full focuses toward Hamlin.

The NFL has not announced a resumption date for the Week 17 matchup. Bills players traveled back to Buffalo on Tuesday morning. The team remains scheduled to host the Patriots on Sunday. Rather than going through a typical Wednesday practice ahead of a Sunday game, the Bills announced they will hold a walkthrough.

Latest On Damar Hamlin, Bills-Bengals

6:41pm: Hamlin is on a ventilator, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard’s Matt Parrino, who spoke with Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn. However, it is believed Hamlin’s breathing is improving, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson adds (Twitter links).

Hamlin needed to be resuscitated twice — once on the field and once after he arrived at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center — according to ESPN.com’s Coley Harvey, who also spoke with Glenn (Twitter link). Lung damage is a concern, per Harvey, but Glenn added (via Parrino) his nephew is only using 50% of the ventilator Tuesday. He needed 100% of the ventilator’s oxygen Monday. Hamlin remains sedated, Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com tweets.

Further updates to the situation will be provided as they become available.

9:01am: All attention around the NFL continues to be focused on the well-being of Bills safety Damar Hamlin after he went into cardiac arrest during last night’s game between the Bills and Bengals. The early hours of Tuesday morning provided further clarification on the way the incident was handled.

Hamlin, 24, received care on the field which included CPR after he collapsed immediately following a tackle made on Bengals wideout Tee Higgins. That, as noted by a team announcement, restored his heartbeat before he was ultimately loaded directly into an ambulance and taken to hospital. He has since been intubated and, as of the latest update, remains sedated and in critical condition.

The situation left the NFL, NFLPA, on-field officials and both teams in need of making a determination with respect to how to proceed (if at all) with the game. While the ESPN broadcast mentioned the potential of a five-minute warmup period being given to each squad before resuming the contest, NFL EVP Troy Vincent denied that such a scenario was ever in consideration.

“There was no time period for the players to get warmed up,” Vincent said on a conference call (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo). “It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. That’s not a place we should ever be in.”

Indeed, the contest was temporarily suspended, and later postponed in the wake of Hamlin’s uncertain condition. After a number of players and staff members from both teams visited the hospital where he is receiving treatment, it was initially reported that some Bills players would remain in Cincinnati instead of returning home. Further clarification from Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News confirms, however, that the team has traveled in full back to Buffalo (Twitter link).

As they and the rest of the NFL await further updates on Hamlin’s status, the matter of potentially resuming the game has been brought up. On the aforementioned conference call, NFL EVP of communications Jeff Miller said (via the Ringer’s Lindsay Jones, on Twitter) that that is “not a consideration right now.” While such a stance is certainly understandable in the aftermath of last night’s frightening events, the Buffalo-Cincinnati contest carries significant playoff implications for both teams. The situation is further complicated by the relation of its outcome to other AFC games set to be played this Sunday as the regular season is scheduled to come to a close.

Bills-Bengals Game Remains Without Resumption Date

The Bills announced Tuesday afternoon Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin going into cardiac arrest during the first quarter of Monday night’s game has brought other NFL matters to a halt.

The NFL addressed the on-field procedures and decision to postpone the Bills-Bengals game early Tuesday morning, but as of this afternoon, its schedule is unchanged. Roger Goodell said Monday’s game will not be resumed this week. Week 18 remains slated to begin Saturday. While this invites logistical questions, Hamlin’s status continues to be the league’s focus.

The NFL continues to be in regular contact with the medical team caring for Damar Hamlin, and also the Bills and Bengals organizations and the NFL Players Association. After speaking with both teams and NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the clubs today that the Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week,” the NFL said in a statement.

The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date. The league has not made any changes to the Week 18 regular season schedule.”

Bills players traveled back to Buffalo on Tuesday morning. The team is next scheduled to play against the Patriots on Sunday. The Bengals are set to host the Ravens in Week 18. Monday’s game being ruled a no-contest would obviously produce a historic ripple effect. The Bengals would win the AFC North title by default, while the Bills would go from controlling their own destiny for the AFC’s No. 1 seed to seeing the Chiefs have that control.

Postponing the playoffs in order to complete one game would be a drastic step for the league, though there is precedent for altering the schedule. Following a lengthy players’ strike, the 1982 season featured a 16-team playoff bracket that did not begin until Jan. 8, 1983. The September 11 attacks prompted the NFL to postpone Week 2 games in 2001, leading to a pushed-back playoff schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic also required forced flexibility from the league, which rescheduled several games during the 2020 and ’21 seasons.