Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was cleared to resume football activities after recovering from suffering cardiac arrest during the Bills’ Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane told reporters on Tuesday.
Three specialists cleared Hamlin, and he already is working out with the team in preparation to return to the field. The Bills started their offseason program on Monday.
“This event was life-changing. But it’s not the end of my story,” Hamlin said on Tuesday. “So, I’m here to announce that I plan on making a comeback to the NFL.”
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The Bills safety said he suffered commotio cordis, which is when a blow to the chest at just the right time causes cardiac arrest, on Jan. 2.
When Hamlin collapsed, he needed live-saving procedures on the field. He then spent nine days in a Buffalo-area hospital, where he made consistent progress in his recovery.
Hamlin being healthy enough to return to the field has been expected for a couple of months. NFLPA Medical Director Dr. Thom Mayer said in an interview on Sirius XM in February he anticipated Hamlin would make a full recovery.
On Feb. 9, Hamlin and the first responders who helped save his life were recognized at the NFL Honors ceremony.
“Damar has seen three additional specialists, and they’re all in agreement,” Beane said on Tuesday. “It’s not 2-1 or anything like that. They’re all in lockstep that he’s cleared to resume football activity just like anyone else who is coming off an injury. He’s here. He’s fully cleared. And he’s in a great headspace to come back and make his return.”
It’s unclear when Hamlin officially will return to the lineup, but his first opportunity will be Buffalo’s first preseason game on Aug. 13.