Damar Hamlin continues to improve.
The Buffalo Bills safety was released from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine hospital, where he has been undergoing treatment after suffering cardiac arrest on the field during the Bills and Bengals game one week ago on Monday Night Football.
Hamlin was transported by air to Buffalo, where he entered a local hospital to continue treatment. The move is a positive signal that Hamlin will recover from the terrifying incident that stunned the NFL community.
“I can confirm he is doing well, and this is the beginning of the next stage of his recovery,” Dr. William Knight told reporters during a Monday news conference. “Mr. Hamlin has been released and returned to Buffalo. I traveled with him to the airport this morning with our UC Health air care and mobile care crew, including teammates who were with us on the field when Mr. Hamlin collapsed.”
Doctors have stated that the immediate treatment that Hamlin received from sideline medical staff after the injury should be credited with saving his life and preventing brain damage, one of the biggest risks faced by victims of cardiac arrest episodes. Hamlin has thus far shown no signs of cognitive issues resulting from the cardiac incident.
The Bills played for the first time yesterday after the injury caused the NFL to cancel the remainder of the game the previous Monday, and the team earned a massive win over the New England Patriots.
Prior to yesterday’s game, Hamlin tweeted encouragement to the team, stating that he wanted nothing more than to run out of the tunnel on game day with his “brothers,” adding the admonition to share a message of love with someone today.
Players and coaches all over the league wore “Love for Hamlin” shirts and logos during the final slate of Week 18 games. The injury has brought renewed attention to the emotions that professional football players deal with while playing a sport that has the potential to result in a lethal injury.
“We’ve had some very open and honest and deep talks, some unbelievable — it sounds weird, but — embraces as men just hugging somebody and actually leaning into them,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said on Sunday.
“There’s been a lot of that going around, and you need every bit of it. You really do. And I think the fact that we just keep hearing good news about Damar, it just keeps pushing us forward.”
Hamlin suffered the injury while making an otherwise routine tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins less than 10 minutes into the first quarter of the Monday Night Football game. Hamlin initially stood up, then fell backward onto the field. Emergency staff immediately came onto the field and administered CPR and chest compressions.
Hamlin needed a breathing tube and was kept sedated for the first several days but is improving daily, according to treating doctors and teammates who are in regular communication with the injured player.
Buffalo is set to face the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday, January 15, in Orchard Park.