Damar Hamlin present, not participating in first days of voluntary practices

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The Buffalo Bills are taking it slow with safety Damar Hamlin, who is barred from participating in the team’s first few days of voluntary practices about five months after having a near-death experience on the field, he said Tuesday coach Sean McDermott.

“We’re taking it one day at a time and just supporting Damar in any way we can,” McDermott said when asked about Hamlin’s condition, though he noted the player is present at the facility. locations Otherwise, the coach did not provide a timetable for when Hamlin can begin on-field sessions a month after being cleared to resume his NFL career.

Hamlin, 25, went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field after making what appeared to be a routine tackle during the first quarter of a game in Cincinnati and being broadcast to a national prime-time audience hearing in January. . 2.

The Bills’ slow approach to Hamlin’s practice participation seems in line with how they’ve softened other players after major injuries. And it’s understandable for Hamlin, given the time he missed during a lengthy recovery process that limited him to much physical effort before reporting to the team’s voluntary training program last month .

Hamlin still needed a ventilator to help him breathe for several weeks after being released from the hospital in mid-January.

He has made it clear that he wants to resume the game. Saying his heart was still in the game, Hamlin announced his return to the NFL just over a month after being cleared to play by the Bills and several independent specialists. Not wanting to give in to fear and worry, Hamlin said there was little chance of the episode happening again, revealing that specialists agreed his heart stopped as a result of commotio cordis, which is a direct hit to a specific point in the heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest.

“This was a life-changing event, but it’s not the end of my story,” Hamlin said last month.

With his focus now on resuming football, Hamlin’s next steps will be no different than any other NFL player in his bid to earn a roster spot entering his third season. The Bills have two more weeks of voluntary practices before mandatory minicamp opens in mid-June, followed by the opening of training camp in late July.

Hamlin’s recovery has been described as remarkable by the doctors who treated him. He spent the first few days of his recovery in a medically induced coma at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His motor and cognitive skills quickly returned, and he spent 10 days in hospitals in Cincinnati and Buffalo before being released.

Hamlin’s collapse sparked an outpouring of support from across the NFL and across North America, with donations made to Hamlin’s charity exceeding $9 million. And his recovery has been celebrated, with the player honored by the NFL, the NFL Players Association and, most recently, selected by the Professional Football Writers of America as the winner of the George Halas Award, which is given to a player, coach or NFL personnel. member who overcomes adversity to succeed.

Report from The Associated Press.

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