NFL: Damar Hamlin shows remarkable improvements according to doctors

ORCHARD PARK, NY – Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has shown what doctors treating him call « remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours, » the team announced Thursday, three days after the player cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated in the field.

« Although he remains in critical condition, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact, » the Bills said in a statement. “His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress. »

Ronald Butler, Hamlin’s agent, told The Associated Press that Hamlin is awake and able to grab the hands of family members who are at his bedside.

The developments came as the Bills were set to return to practice on Thursday for the first time since Hamlin collapsed from cardiac arrest, after he tackled a Cincinnati Bengals player, during the first quarter of Monday night’s game.

Hamlin, who is in his second year in the NFL, was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He has spent the past two days sedated and is in critical condition.

The Bills’ announcement comes as they prepare to play a home game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, and the players are still reeling from watching their teammate collapse on the field , his heart no longer beating.

After returning home early Tuesday after the game was suspended, the Bills held meetings and a light practice session without any press briefings on Wednesday. On Thursday, the players were spotted arriving at the team’s facilities, although the Bills had yet to release their training schedule.

The chilling scene of Hamlin’s collapse, televised as part of ESPN’s traditional Monday night game, drew an outpouring of support from fans and players across the league.

Many players, former teammates and those who did not know Hamlin until Monday expressed their support, while saying they were shaken by what happened.

Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas made the two-hour drive from Indianapolis to Cincinnati on Tuesday just to be alongside his former high school teammate.

“He is a fighter. I know he’s a fighter and I have no other idea than to see him pull through on his own,” Thomas said Wednesday.

Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s marketing representative, said on Wednesday that the player’s family was heartened by the words and acts of kindness.

« They’re thrilled right now, » Rooney said. “Damar is always their first concern. But for them, they are always looking to turn a somewhat troubling situation into a good one. The twist of this situation, for him and his family, is going to be incredible. »

Separately, it’s still unclear whether the NFL will reschedule the Bills’ game against the Bengals, which has major implications for determining the AFC No. 1 spot. The playoffs are due to start on January 14.

The Chiefs (13-3) have a half-game lead over the Bills (12-3), but the latter are in a strong position after beating Kansas City this season. The Bengals (11-4) currently sit third in the standings, and have also beaten the Chiefs.

Fans, team owners and players, including Tom Brady and Russell Wilson, made donations to Hamlin’s « Chasing M’s » foundation, which had raised more than $7 million as of Thursday morning.

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