Damar Hamlin returned home last week, and now he's taking even more strides in his recovery. Three days after being transferred to a Buffalo-area hospital -- and nine days after suffering cardiac arrest during a "Monday Night Football" game on Jan. 2 -- the Bills safety cleared a comprehensive medical evaluation and continued his rehab at home, and with the Bills medical and training staff. Not only that, but now, with the divisional round of the playoffs about to begin, Hamlin is in the team facility almost daily, coach Sean McDermott told reporters Wednesday.
That news comes with the Bills set to play host to the Bengals -- the same opponent they were facing when Hamlin's scary injury occurred -- at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, with a trip to the AFC title game on the line. McDermott said that Hamlin is on the road to being back to himself.
An amazing Damar Hamlin update. ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/GyP2uDQry0— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 11, 2023
About a week after being admitted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Hamlin was discharged and transferred to a Buffalo-area hospital, his doctors announced on last week. Hamlin elaborated on social media:
Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart. 🏾— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 9, 2023
Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling.
The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world n more.
Bigger than football! 🏾
Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC. Happy to be back in Buffalo. The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home! 🏩🏾.— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 9, 2023
The Bills had previously announced Hamlin remained hospitalized at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute and was going through a series of testing and evaluation. Hamlin tweeted an update on his status as well:
Not home quite just yet🏡🏾. Still doing & passing a bunch of test. Special thank-you to Buffalo General it’s been nothing but love since arrival! Keep me in y’all prayers please! #3strong— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 10, 2023
The Bills second-year safety had been at UC Medical Center since suffering cardiac arrest during the Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. Hamlin's condition improved dramatically after he initially received CPR on the field from the Bills' medical staff prior to leaving the stadium in an ambulance. A little over a week ago, Hamlin's doctors announced that he was breathing on his own. The next day, the Bills announced that Hamlin exhibited "excellent" neurological function.
Hamlin, after FaceTiming with his Buffalo teammates, posted his first public comments via social media. In his posts, Hamlin expressed his gratitude for everyone who has supported him.
"When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3X's as much," Hamlin wrote on his Instagram page. "The love has been overwhelming, but I'm thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We brung the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!"
Hamlin has also launched his own T-shirt line, with the proceeds going to the UC Trauma Center.
A starter on Buffalo's defense, Hamlin was active on social media during Buffalo's Week 18 win over the Patriots -- one that clinched the No. 2 seed for the Bills. Buffalo is now preparing to host the Dolphins in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Hamlin, via FaceTime, took part in the Bills' postgame celebration Sunday.
The Bills are hoping Hamlin can return to the facility during the team's playoff run.
"Hopefully we can just get him here," cornerback Tre'Davious White said, via the team's website. "I just want to hug the (expletive) out of him because in the meeting room he sits like two seats away from me and every time he comes in to meeting room he says, 'T Weezy!' So I can't wait to hear his voice and be able to touch him and just hug the (expletive) out of him and hear that again. So we miss you, man and just get back to us. It's been a hard week. It's been a hard week."