Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest in a frightening scene during Monday night’s contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, has shown dramatic improvement and appears to be “neurologically intact,” the team said in a Thursday statement.
Hamlin, a defensive back out of the University of Pittsburgh, collapsed after what appeared to be a routine collision with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of the game, which was suspended after the play. Although doctors have said he went into cardiac arrest, updates on his condition have been sparse even as fans and well-wishers have held out hope for his recovery.
“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 in the statement. “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.”
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 5, 2023
NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that Hamlin has opened his eyes and is squeezing the hands of those who come to his bedside.
Fellow Bills cornerback and rookie Kaiir Elam also tweeted that Hamlin was awake.
“Our boy is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement,” Elam tweeted. “Thank you God. Keep the prayers coming please. All love 3!”
Hamlin went down with about six minutes remaining in the first quarter of the Monday Night Football game after tackling Higgins, who had just hauled in a 13-yard catch. After the tackle, Hamlin got up, took a step backward, and then fell to the ground.
Damar Hamlin has been gripping the hands of those close to him. Another very positive sign. https://t.co/GpabbnqTWm
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 5, 2023
Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told CNN Tuesday that doctors had his nephew “flipped over on his stomach” to help with the blood on his lungs because he sustained “some damage to his lungs,” the report said.
“His heart had went out so they had to resuscitate him twice,” Glenn said. “They resuscitated him on the field before they brought him to the hospital and then they resuscitated him a second time when they got him to the hospital.”
It is not known when or if the game will be resumed. Both playoff-bound teams are scheduled to play in what otherwise would be their regular season finales on Sunday.
The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra contributed to this report