Buffalo Bills players will return to practice today for the first time since Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest Monday night, as the team now prepares to take on the New England Patriots on Sunday while the 24-year-old remains in intensive care.
On Wednesday morning, the Bills tweeted that club officials would “hold meetings and a walk-through” with players and staff, though the team won’t address the media until Thursday.
Other NFL teams also canceled their media availability this week out of respect for Hamlin, including the Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers.
It remains unclear whether the Bills will release any further updates on Hamlin’s condition on Wednesday.
The Bills safety is still intubated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Ohio and is showing encouraging signs of recovery, as doctors have lowered the oxygen level Hamlin needs from 100 percent to 50 percent.
The Bills will practice for the first time since Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on Monday
Two days after his cardiac arrest in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamlin remains intubated in the hospital
Hamlin, 24, collapsed in the opening quarter of Monday Night Football at Paycor Stadium
Bills players react after realizing the gravity of Hamlin’s situation, praying for safety
Speaking from outside the hospital Tuesday, Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, revealed that his 24-year-old nephew had to restart his heart twice — once on the field, and again after he arrived at hospital. Glenn also provided those details to other outlets, including ESPN and NFL Network, further revealing that the Bills safety suffered a lung injury.
‘They resuscitated him in the field before they took him to the hospital and then resuscitated him a second time when he got to the hospital,’ Glenn told CNN. ‘I just want to show my gratitude for the medical staff that were on hand because if it wasn’t for them, my nephew probably wouldn’t be here either.’
Glenn said he was watching the game on TV with some relatives in Pittsburgh when he saw Hamlin pass out and fall to the field at Paycor Stadium following a tackle from Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. He arrived in Cincinnati early Tuesday; the cities are about 300 miles apart.
‘I’ve never cried so much in my life,’ Glenn said. ‘Just to know, like, my nephew died in the field and they brought him back to life. I mean, it’s just heartbreaking.’
Hamlin’s uncle Dorrian Glenn, pictured, said he saw his nephew collapse live on television
Football fans gather outside the University of Cincinatti Medical Center for Hamlin in Ohio
Bills fans attend a candlelight prayer vigil for player Damar Hamlin in Orchard Park, Buffalo, NY
The shocking scene of Hamlin’s collapse, which played out in front of a US television audience on ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’, caught the NFL off guard, suspending the game.
As of Wednesday, league officials had not yet rescheduled the contest and NFL Executive Vice President of football operations Troy Vincent insisted Tuesday that there are no talks about resuming the Bills-Bengals game. on Monday following Hamlin’s immediate collapse, despite reports.
The NFL playoffs begin Jan. 14, with the Bills slated to reach the postseason as the AFC East’s first seed. The Bengals also clinched a playoff birth by winning the AFC North.
For now, players on both teams will have to shift their focus to Week 18 of league action, though the Bengals’ game against the Ravens on Sunday has yet to be scheduled.
‘First of all, the Bengals continue to send thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family. Our hearts go out to everyone at this unprecedented time – all we can do is support each other,’ Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement from earlier this week.
In Buffalo, the Bills changed their social media avatar to No. 3 Hamlin jerseys with the words ‘Pray For Damar.’ The other 31 teams and the NFL quickly followed suit.
The Bills, as well as other NFL teams, including the Patriots – Buffalo’s opponents on Sunday – changed their social media avatar to No. 3 Hamlin jerseys
While some Bills players stayed in Cincinnati to be with their teammates, others went home early Tuesday, when they were greeted by a few fans watching quietly from the side of the road outside the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
The Bills took the day off and are unsure when they can resume practice, putting Hamlin above all else, including their quest to secure the AFC’s top seed.
Please pray for our brother,’ quarterback Josh Allen posted in a tweet.
Added offensive lineman Rodger Saffold: ‘He’s more than just an athlete. He is a son and a brother. And I pray that God will have mercy on him and bring him back to us.’
Bills QB Josh Allen asked people to pray for Hamlin, referring to him as ‘brother’ on Monday
Bills offensive lineman Rodger Saffold tweeted that he prayed that ‘God’ would give Hamlin ‘mercy’ and ‘bring him back to us’
Hamlin is from McKees Rocks, a hardscrabble exurb of Pittsburgh, and was selected by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He spent his rookie season limited to special teams duties, and took over the starting job in Week 3 in place of veteran Micah Hyde, who remains sidelined with a neck injury.
Overnight, Hamlin went from being a relatively unknown second-year player to receiving an international outpouring of support.
His Chasing M’s Foundation surpassed its modest goal of raising $2,500, surpassing $5 million Tuesday night, thanks to donations from seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and former NYC mayor Rudy Guiliani.
The Bills now face perhaps their toughest hurdle yet in a calendar year filled with adversity on and off the field. The team has seen its schedule disrupted twice by major snowstorms in the past month, including a blizzard that led to at least 39 deaths in the region over Christmas.
The Bills also rallied to support the community after a racist shooting rampage that left 10 dead at a Buffalo supermarket in May.
On Tuesday, it was the region’s turn to rally for the team on both sides of the New York-Ontario border. The Ontario-based Niagara Parks commission announced it will light Niagara Falls blue in honor of Hamlin.
‘Our collective thoughts are with him, his family, his team and the City of Buffalo,’ the commission wrote.’
Niagara Falls lit up blue Tuesday night in support of Hamlin and the Buffalo Bills