Damar Hamlin Trending in ‘Positive Direction,’ Still in Critical Condition

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in the ICU and in critical condition but has shown signs of improvement, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon.

A member of his family and a friend both told NFL Network on Tuesday night Hamlin was trending in a “positive direction.”

“Right now, things are really in a positive direction. … I can’t speak specifically to it, but it’s moving in a positive direction,” Hamlin’s friend and marketing rep Jordon Rooney said.

Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, said the Bills safety remains in intensive care but has improved to 50 percent oxygen on a ventilator, down from 100 percent from earlier in the day.

“Right now, they got him on a ventilator, so they’re trying to get him to breathe on his own,” Glenn told NFLN. “So, we’re just kind of taking it day by day. Still in the ICU. They have him sedated, so just continue to administer the medical treatment that they’ve been doing.”

On Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and had his heartbeat restored on the field after getting hit in the chest. Medical staff performed CPR for nine minutes before an ambulance took him to a local Cincinnati hospital.

The league’s emergency plan was “executed perfectly” and gave Hamlin “another chance to fight,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, on a Wednesday conference call.

Hamlin is expected to remain in intensive care so his healthcare team can continue to monitor and treat him, according to the Bills’ statement.

“Once he gets out of ICU, I’ll feel better myself,” Glenn said.

Some support came from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who provided a lengthy statement at his regular media availability on Tuesday. Tomlin said he felt connected with Hamlin because he was a “Pittsburgher and that young man being a Pittsburgher.”

“I’ve known that guy probably since he was about 12,” Tomlin said. “Just got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being. His commitment to the pursuit of his goals and dreams of doing what it is he’s doing right now, which is playing in the NFL, and to watch him make personal decisions and make that realization, it’s just an honor to get to know young people like that. I had an opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him.”

Hamlin’s toy drive charity, which initially set a goal of $2,500, has now raised more than $6 million, thanks to donations from fans, teams and fellow NFL players, including quarterbacks Tom Brady and Russell Wilson, who donated $10,000 apiece.

Monday night’s game was postponed and the NFL announced on Tuesday it would not be resumed this week. The NFL has begun having conversations about the possible resumption of the game with both the Bengals and Bills and will have a decision in the coming days.

The league will follow “the guiding principles that took us into the 2020 season with COVID,” Vincent said. “It may not be perfect, but will allow those participating to be able to play.”

The Bills held meetings and a walk-through on Wednesday but did not participate in any media availability, the team announced.

A sixth-round pick of the Bills in 2021 out of Pittsburgh, Hamlin became a starter in Buffalo this season when Micah Hyde suffered a neck injury in Week 2 that landed him on injured reserve. In 13 starts going into Monday night’s game, Hamlin had 91 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

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