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Bills’ Hamlin Has Breathing Tube Removed, Speaks to Teammates

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin had his breathing tube removed and has been speaking to family, friends, and teammates.

“Per the physicians at UCMC, Damar’s breathing tube was removed overnight,” the Bills said via Twitter. “He continues to progress remarkably in his recovery. His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team.”

Hamlin FaceTimed with his teammates in a team meeting on Friday. He relayed the message “love you boys” and has since been making other calls to friends and family.

Earlier in the week, doctors at the Cincinnati hospital where he is being treated in an intensive care unit said he was making “substantial progress” and that he that his neurological function was intact.

Removing the breathing tube is a big step forward for Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game with the Bengals and required CPR on the field for several minutes. Doctors on Thursday said their goal was to get the Bills safety back home as soon as possible.

Hamlin’s first attempt at conversing with doctors came in the form of a written question after waking up for the first time since Monday’s incident. He asked, “Did we win?”

“The answer is yes, Damar, you won. You won the game of life,” Dr. Timothy Pritts told reporters Thursday.

“Did we win? As teammates you love hearing that response,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. “It wasn’t ‘poor me’; it was how are my teammates doing? That’s powerful in itself.”

Neurological signs of improvement began Wednesday night, Pritts said, as Hamlin was beginning to awaken.

“When we talk about neurologically intact, it’s a very gross term of big motor movements and following commands,” Dr. William Knight IV said. “When we talk about the finer things that make us human — cognition, emotion, speech, language, etc. — we’re looking forward to learning more about that soon.”

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