Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been “fully cleared” to resume football activity less than four months after suffering a cardiac arrest during an NFL game.
Hamlin collapsed on the field during the Bills’ away meeting with Cincinnati Bengals on January 2, but the 25-year-old has returned to camp in Buffalo and is participating in the team’s voluntary off-season workouts, which began on Monday.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane told a pre-draft press conference: “He’s seen three additional specialists (in the off-season), 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, resumed full activity, he is just like anyone else who is coming from an injury or whatever, so he is fully cleared, he’s here, and he is of the mindset, he’s in a great headspace to come back and make his return.”
Hamlin was transported to hospital shortly after he collided with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in a tackle and his heart stopped nine minutes into the match.
Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington was among those who responded immediately, administering CPR on the field – an act that would later see him finish fifth in the NFL’s MVP voting.
Hamlin was admitted to the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition, but was discharged the following week to continue his recovery at a hospital in Buffalo.
Two days later he was released from the Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute and back into his club’s care.
Hamlin was selected by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft and his story inspired a wave of support for a Go Fund Me for his children’s charity project, The Chasing M’s Foundation, which to date has raised over nine million dollars.
Late last month he was invited to meet US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office, where he told the world leader he hoped to play football again.
A tweet from the President’s official account read: “Damar Hamlin’s courage, resilience, and spirit inspired the American people. And what’s more: he turned recovery into action – and our country is better for it. It was my honor to have him and his family here today.”