Damar Hamlin is on her way home.
The Buffalo Bills safety has been released from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, the team announced Wednesday.
“We have completed a series of tests and evaluations, and in consultation with team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely released to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills,” said Jamie Nadler, MD, team leader. from Hamlin’s care team, he said.
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field during the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2.
He spent the next week at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he made “remarkable improvement” after being in critical condition.
The 24-year-old underwent a “comprehensive medical evaluation,” along with other tests, on Tuesday. Hamlin’s parents and younger brother joined him at the hospital Tuesday.
His 7-year-old brother, Damir, was not allowed to see him in the ICU in Cincinnati because of rules intended to prevent the spread of the flu and RSV, Bills general manager Brandon Beane said.
The NFL community has rallied around Hamlin for the past nine days, and now he can continue to thrive alongside his family and teammates back home.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was released from the hospital Monday, a week after going into cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
THE MOMENT OF DAMAR HAMLIN’S CARDIAC ARREST
In a chilling scene, Hamlin was administered CPR on the field, ESPN reported, while surrounded by teammates, some of them crying, while shielding him from public view. He was hurt while he was tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in a seemingly routine play that didn’t seem unusually violent.
On the play in which the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin was injured, Higgins led with a right shoulder, which caught the defenseman in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down. Hamlin scrambled to his feet, appeared to adjust his mask with his right hand, then fell back about three seconds later and lay still.
An ambulance was on the field four minutes after Hamlin collapsed as many players hugged each other, including Buffalo quarterbacks Josh Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow.
Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m. local time, and when he was carried off the field some 19 minutes later in what seemed like forever, the Bills gathered in prayer. A few minutes after the ambulance left the field, play was suspended and the players slowly walked off the field and to their locker rooms where they awaited word on Hamlin and the game.
“I’ve never seen anything like this since I was playing,” NFL executive Troy Vincent, a six-time Pro Bowl cornerback during his career, said on Tuesday morning’s conference call. “Immediately my gamer hat was like, how do you get back into playing after seeing a traumatic event in front of you?”
Hamlin’s uniform was cut up while he was being attended to by medical personnel.
Hamlin was treated on the field by the team, independent medical personnel and local paramedics, and was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His teammate Stefon Diggs later joined Hamlin in the hospital.
About 100 Bills fans and a few Bengals fans gathered Monday and Tuesday on a street corner a block from the ER entrance, some holding candles.
THE MATCH SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
The Bengals led 7-3 in the first quarter of a game between teams competing for the AFC’s top playoff seed. Cincinnati entered 11-4 and leading the AFC North by one game over Baltimore, while AFC East champion Buffalo was 12-3.
“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin,” the players’ union said in a statement. “We have been in contact with the players of the Bills and the Bengals, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters right now is Damar’s health and well-being.”
The unfinished game has major playoff implications as the NFL enters the final week of the regular season, with the wild-card playoff round scheduled to begin on January 14.
Hamlin spent five years of college in his hometown of Pittsburgh, appearing in 48 games for the Panthers during that span. He was a second-team All-ACC player as a senior, was voted team captain and was selected to play in the Senior Bowl.
He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter this year after Micah Hyde missed the season with injury.
Entering the game, Hamlin had 91 tackles, including 63 solo tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
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Damar Hamlin heads home after being released from hospital