Damar Hamlin Won't Attend Bills' Game vs. Dolphins amid Cardiac Arrest Recovery

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2023

ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 08: Buffalo Bills fans hold signs in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin prior to the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Damar Hamlin will not be attending the Buffalo Bills' Wild Card Round matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, despite earlier reports suggesting he would make the trip.

𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 @HamlinIsland

My heart is with my guys as they compete today! 🫶🏾<br><br>Supporting from home as I focus on my recovery. Nothing I want more than to be out there with them! LFG ❤️💙 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BillsMafia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BillsMafia</a> <a href="https://t.co/gPGp5MiQEz">pic.twitter.com/gPGp5MiQEz</a>

The Associated Press reported earlier in the day that Hamlin would be in attendance, though later walked back that report:


UPDATE: It is now unclear whether Damar Hamlin will attend Sunday's game.<br><br>A person with direct knowledge of the player's schedule had told the AP that Hamlin planned to attend. That person now says those "plans may have changed."

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network added that Hamlin is "still on oxygen and being monitored closely by doctors."

The 24-year-old safety is still recovering from a cardiac arrest after he collapsed on the field in a Jan. 2 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, and had to be resuscitated before being taken to a hospital.

Hamlin was released from a Buffalo hospital on Wednesday and visited his teammates on Saturday.

Brooke Kromer @BrookeKromer

I saw Damar today &amp; bawled my eyes out! What a miracle to see him walking🥹🫶🏻 We are blessed! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LoveForDamar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LoveForDamar</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BillsMafia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BillsMafia</a>

Brooke Kromer @BrookeKromer

He was at practice &amp; the guys were all in great spirits! Bills by a million! No word on tomorrow

"Obviously grateful first and foremost that he's home and with his parents and his brother, which is great," Bills' head coach Sean McDermott told reporters Wednesday. "I'm sure it has felt like a long time since he's been able to be home. I'm sure it's a great feeling and, we'll leave it up to him. His health is first and foremost on our mind as far as his situation goes, and then when he feels ready, we welcome him back as he feels ready."

After Hamlin was hospitalized, the game between the Bills and Bengals was postponed before being cancelled.

In the aftermath of the incident, his Chasing M's Foundation GoFundMe toy drive received millions of dollars in donations, and he also sold "Did we win?" t-shirts, with the proceeds going to first responders and the University of Cincinnati trauma center.

Before Saturday's reported visit, his teammates were eagerly awaiting the chance to visit with him.

"I know some guys were chomping at the bit to go see them, but against doctor's orders, just making sure that he's getting his rest from recovery and taking it slow, and obviously just trying to get back to being himself," quarterback Josh Allen told reporters Wednesday. "So, we'll take all the time that we need. But I hope he knows the guys are ready to see him."