Damar Hamlin Has Breathing Tube Removed, Speaks to Bills Players After Cardiac Arrest

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 6, 2023

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 2: Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills stands near the sidelines during introductions prior to an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin had his breathing tube removed and "continues to progress remarkably," the team announced Friday.

Buffalo Bills @BuffaloBills

Damar Hamlin FaceTimed into our team meeting today to talk to players and coaches.<br><br>What he said to the team: "Love you boys." โค๏ธ <a href="https://t.co/8dorrWNaxt">pic.twitter.com/8dorrWNaxt</a>

Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during Monday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals and spent the past few days in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. On Thursday, the team announced he was awake and responsive and could move both his hands and feet. They also said he could communicate in writing.

On Friday, he spoke to various teammates on FaceTime before delivering a message to the entire group, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Hamlin initially collapsed on the field after a tackle, requiring immediate CPR before leaving in an ambulance.

His doctors noted the quick action by team personnel saved his life as well as his neurological function:

Dan Fetes @danfetes

Per UC Medical Center doctors:<br><br>The quick response by the Bills training staff and medical personnel on the field, NOT only saved Damar Hamlin's life, but also saved his neurological function. <a href="https://t.co/4PB8AlbG6R">pic.twitter.com/4PB8AlbG6R</a>

With his actions on Thursday, the doctors were clear that Hamlin's neurological function remained intact.

"It's not only that the lights are on. We know that he's home. It appears all the cylinders are firing within his brain," Dr. Timothy Pritts said in the latest update.

The ability to speak to his teammates should put the players more at ease after understandable concern.

The Monday Night Football game between the Bengals and Bills had been temporarily suspended with both sides focusing on Hamlin's health, while the NFL announced Thursday the game would not be resumed.

Buffalo is still scheduled to return to the field on Sunday for the regular-season finale against the New England Patriots. Head coach Sean McDermott and quarterback Josh Allen both said they will be able to focus on the upcoming game.