ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin had his breathing tube removed and has begun talking with his care team, family and his teammates.
Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight, per the physicians at University of Cincinnati Medical Center in a statement via the Bills, and he continues to “progress remarkably in his recovery.” His neurological function remains intact, per the physicians, and he has been able to talk.
Hamlin, 24, is talking to loved ones and has also FaceTimed with his teammates, telling the players and coaches, “Love you, boys,” during Friday’s team meeting.
On Thursday, doctors shared with reporters that removing the breathing tube would be an important step forward for Hamlin, who they hope can return home with his family as soon as possible.
CPR was administered to Hamlin on the field Monday night for multiple minutes after he collapsed following his tackle of 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.
Dr. William Knight IV credited the quick medical response with saving Hamlin’s life. He said a physician was by Hamlin’s side within a minute of him collapsing and recognized that the defensive back did not have a pulse. Knight said Hamlin required CPR and resuscitation on the field.
There is no definitive answer to what caused Hamlin’s cardiac arrest.
The Bills will play a home game against the New England Patriots on Sunday. The NFL and Bills asked merchandise partner Fanatics to produce 150 T-shirts for each home team that say, “Love for Damar.” The shirts will be shared with the visiting teams to wear during pregame warm-ups on Sunday.
Information from ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren was used in this report.