ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Damar Hamlin’s recovery is moving in “a positive direction” two days after the Buffalo Bills safety collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a game against Cincinnati, he said Wednesday the player’s marketing representative.
“We all remain optimistic,” Jordon Rooney, a family spokesman who described himself as a good friend of the player, told The Associated Press by phone. He said he could not go into further detail about Hamlin’s condition at the request of his family not to provide details.
On Tuesday, the Bills said Hamlin was in critical condition.
Rooney said Hamlin’s family remained positive and encouraged by the worldwide support the Bills player has received since his heart stopped and he was resuscitated on the field before being loaded into an ambulance and transported to the Center University of Cincinnati Physician.
“They’re very happy now,” Rooney said. “Damar is still their first concern. But for them, they’re always looking at how they can turn a little bit of a worrisome situation into a good one. The recovery from that, for him and his family, is going to be incredible.”
Rooney’s update comes after Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn, told multiple media outlets Tuesday night that there were some encouraging signs in his nephew’s progress, including that doctors are reducing the level of oxygen that Hamlin needs from 100% to 50%.
“He’s still sedated right now,” Glenn told CNN. “They just want him to have a better chance of a better recovery. So they feel that if he’s sedated, his body can heal much faster than if he was awake and possibly cause other complications.”
Rooney wanted to clear up something Glenn said saying there was a misunderstanding when the uncle said Hamlin had to be revived twice. Rooney said it’s “not exactly true,” without elaborating.
Hamlin’s collapse, which was played out in front of a U.S. television audience on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” has put the NFL on hold, with the pivotal game suspended indefinitely. The Kansas Chiefs (13-3) are battling the Bills (12-3) and Bengals (11-4) for the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
Cincinnati and Buffalo fans watch over Hamlin
Football fans held vigils outside the hospital where Damar Hamlin is being treated and outside the home stadium of the Buffalo Bills. Hamlin was listed in critical condition in Cincinnati after going into cardiac arrest during Monday night’s NFL game. (January 4).
The Bills, who returned to Buffalo early Tuesday, plan to hold team meetings and a walk-through practice Wednesday. They are expected to resume practice Thursday before their home game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Players and fans from across the NFL rallied to support Hamlin, with vigils in Cincinnati and outside the Bills’ home stadium. The shock of what happened also resonated in Pittsburgh, where Hamlin, 24, grew up and was determined to give back to those in need.
Hamlin was injured in the first quarter when he was hit squarely in the chest while making what appeared to be a routine tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin stood up briefly and adjusted his mask before falling back.
Hamlin is from McKees Rocks, a tough suburb of Pittsburgh, and was drafted by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 2021 draft out of Pitt. He spent his rookie season limited to special teams roles, taking over the starting job in Week 3 in place of veteran Micah Hyde, who remains out with a neck injury.
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