Damar Hamlin Active For First Game Since Cardiac Arrest
By Jason Hall
October 1, 2023
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is active for the team's Week 4 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, marking the first time he'll appear in an NFL game since suffering cardiac arrest during a since-canceled Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in January.
ESPN's Jeff Darlington shared a video of Hamlin in full pads sharing an emotional moment with his teammates prior to the game.
"An awesome moment to watch Bills safety Damar Hamlin huddle with his teammates before taking the field for his first regular-season game. Hamlin was a healthy scratch the first three games — but will have a key role on special teams today," Darlington wrote on his X account.
An awesome moment to watch Bills safety Damar Hamlin huddle with his teammates before taking the field for his first regular-season game. Hamlin was a healthy scratch the first three games — but will have a key role on special teams today. pic.twitter.com/PyfOiouJ0Z— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) October 1, 2023
Hamlin had previously made his official return to football practice during an OTA session on June 6 and participated in full pads during training camp. Bills general manager Brandon Beane confirmed that Hamlin was cleared to resume full activity in April.
"He's seen three additional specialists, most recently on Friday and they're all in agreement, it's not two to one or three to one or anything like that. They're all in lockstep of what this was and that he is cleared, resume full activities just like anyone else who was coming back from an injury or whatever so he's fully cleared, he's here and he is of the mindset, he's in a great headspace to come back and make his return," Beane said at the time.
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the first quarter of the Bills' since-canceled Monday Night Football game against the Bengals on January 2. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.
Hamlin was hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and initially reported to be in critical condition before making a miraculous recovery, which coincided with an outpouring of support from players, coaches and fans. A GoFundMe page initially launched by Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation to support a toy drive prior to his medical situation -- and later to support his recovery after far exceeding its $2,500 goal -- raised more than $9 million.
The Pittsburgh native was released from UC Medical Center one week after suffering cardiac arrest and discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute after completing a series of tests and evaluations two days later.