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Bills' Damar Hamlin Placed on Injured Reserve amid Recovery from Cardiac Arrest

Erin WalshJanuary 6, 2023

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills reacts to a play against the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)
Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills announced Friday that they have placed safety Damar Hamlin on injured reserve.

Hamlin remains at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after suffering a cardiac arrest during the first quarter of Monday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium. The remainder of that game has since been canceled.

Hamlin, who had been intubated to assist his breathing since he entered the hospital, took the next step in his recovery Thursday night as doctors removed his breathing tube and he began talking to his family and teammates.

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said Friday that Hamlin continues to "progress remarkably in his recovery," per ESPN's Alaina Getzenberg. He has continued to demonstrate sound neurological function and has been able to talk after previously communicating via writing on a clipboard.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott also told reporters Friday that he surprised the team by calling Hamlin via Zoom:

"The thing that makes me laugh is he did this to the guys right away ... he flexed on them, I guess. He's just got some staple things that they know him for, that he does. He made the heart symbol [with his hands] probably more than anything. Then he gave them a thumbs up. And then somewhere in the midst of that, it was a little bit hard to hear, but he said, 'I love you boys.' And of course, that got the guys."

The Bills are slated to host the New England Patriots on Sunday at Highmark Stadium in their regular-season finale. They will wear No. 3 patches on their jerseys and all league players will have the option to wear a "Love for Damar 3" T-shirt during warm-ups.

Teams across the NFL have continued to show support for Hamlin throughout the week. Every team's Twitter profile picture reads "Pray for Damar" and several stadiums have lit up in the Bills' colors.

Additionally, a fundraiser started by Hamlin in 2020 to raise money for a toy drive eclipsed $8 million Friday evening. The fundraiser had an initial goal of $2,500. Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts, Robert Kraft and the Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are among the fundraiser's largest donors.

The Bills selected Hamlin in the sixth round of the 2021 draft out of Pittsburgh. In 15 games this season, he had posted two pass breakups, one forced fumble, 1.5 sacks, 91 tackles, six tackles for a loss and three quarterback hits.