‘Remarkable improvement’ from Hamlin, Bills say

Sports

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has shown “remarkable improvement” over the past 24 hours, the team said, as he continues his recovery after going into cardiac arrest and collapsing on the field during Monday’s game.

Hamlin’s agent, Ronald Butler, told The Associated Press that Hamlin was awake and has been able to grip the hands of family members at his hospital bedside.

The Bills released an update on Hamlin’s status from his doctors Thursday morning, noting that he remains critically ill but appears to be neurologically intact.

“Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the team said. “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress. We are grateful for the love and support we have received.”

The phrase “neurologically intact” refers to a person who is “moving their extremities with some form of purpose, and if they’re able to understand basic commands,” a cardiologist who is not treating Hamlin told ESPN’s Coley Harvey.

CPR was administered to Hamlin, 24, on the field Monday night for multiple minutes after he collapsed following his tackle of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin received oxygen, according to the ESPN broadcast, as he was placed in the ambulance and taken off the field. He was driven to the hospital, where he has remained.

Hamlin’s father, Mario, addressed the Bills in a Zoom call Wednesday to offer an update on his son, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Mario Hamlin informed the Bills that Damar Hamlin was making progress and, in the words of one source, “the team needed it.”

The NFL announced Tuesday that the Bills-Bengals game will not resume this week, and the league is undecided on playing the game at a later date. The NFL has not made any changes to the Week 18 regular-season schedule.

The Bills began their practice week Wednesday with a walk-through and team meetings in preparation to host the New England Patriots on Sunday. They are expected to hold their first full practice of the week Thursday.

They made a roster transaction to help the safety group that will be without Hamlin, signing Jared Mayden off the New York Jets‘ practice squad and releasing veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Mayden also spent time on the Bills’ practice squad earlier this season.

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