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Bills’ Damar Hamlin appears at OTAs nearly five months after cardiac arrest

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was at practice Tuesday nearly five months after his cardiac arrest on the field in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Nearly five months after his cardiac arrest on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin appeared at the team's practice Tuesday.

While Hamlin was on the field, he was not a full participant. 

Video on social media shows Hamlin participating in some individual drills without wearing a helmet. 


"He has not been practicing," Bills head coach Sean McDermott said. "We’re just going to continue taking it one day at a time and just support Damar in every way possible.

"I’m not going to get into specifics, where he is at what hour, but he’s in the building working and taking it one day at a time." 

During "Monday Night Football" Jan. 2, Hamlin collapsed to the turf following his tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins and was administered CPR before an ambulance rushed him to the hospital.


He was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center nearly one week later before heading to another hospital in Buffalo.

In mid-April, Hamlin was cleared for football activities, with Bills general manager Brandon Beane saying three specialists all came to the same conclusion. 

"He’s seen three additional specialists, most recently on Friday, and they’re all in agreement," Beane said. "It’s not two-to-one, or three-to-one. They’re all in lockstep of what this was and that he is cleared to resume full activities, just like anyone else who is coming back from an injury or whatever."

Hamlin told reporters he suffered commotio cordis on the tackle. 

"The diagnosis of what happened to me was basically commotio cordis. It’s a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest," Hamlin told reporters after he had been cleared for football activities. 

"And five to seven seconds later, you fall out. … Commotio cordis is the leading cause of death in youth athletes across all sports. So, that's something that I personally will be taking a step in to make a change. Also, with that being said, all of the awareness around CPR and access to AEDs have been lowering that number as well." 

Hamlin was named the winner of the 2023 George Halas Award last week, an annual award presented to an NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes adversity to succeed.

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