NFLPA Medical Director: I 'Guarantee' Bills' Damar Hamlin Will Play Football Again

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 8, 2023

Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin, right, speaks after being introduced as the winner of the Alan Page Community Award during a news conference ahead of the Super Bowl 57 NFL football game, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix. At left looking on are Damar Hamlin's parents Mario and Nina Hamlin. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
AP Photo/Mike Stewart

NFL Players Association medical director Thom Mayer made a surprising declaration about Damar Hamlin's future on Wednesday.

"I don't want to get into HIPAA issues, but I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again," he said during an appearance on SiriusXM's Doctor Radio show Heart to Heart (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).

Hamlin collapsed after suffering cardiac arrest during a Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals and had to be resuscitated on the field before being taken to the hospital. He was hospitalized for nine days.

"We have completed a series of tests and evaluations, and in consultation with the team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely discharged to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills," Dr. Jamie Nadler, a critical care physician and chief quality officer at Kaleida Health, said in a statement at the time.

On Wednesday, Hamlin was awarded the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award after raising over $9 million for his Chasing M's Foundation in the wake of his injury. The foundation received an additional $100,000 as a part of Hamlin winning the award.

"One of my favorite quotes: It's a blessing to be a blessing," he said at the ceremony. "With that being said, I plan to never take this position for granted and always have an urgent approach in making a difference in the community where I come from and also communities across the world."

Hamlin also attended the Buffalo Bills' 27-10 loss against the Bengals in the AFC divisional game in late January, his first public appearance since collapsing on the field.

Buffalo Bills @BuffaloBills

Welcome home, <a href="https://twitter.com/HamlinIsland?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HamlinIsland</a>. ❤️💙<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvsBUF?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CINvsBUF</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BillsMafia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BillsMafia</a> <a href="https://t.co/OG88gibcVv">pic.twitter.com/OG88gibcVv</a>

Buffalo Bills @BuffaloBills

We're so glad you're here, <a href="https://twitter.com/HamlinIsland?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HamlinIsland</a>. 🫶<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> <a href="https://t.co/rxR7PX7I00">pic.twitter.com/rxR7PX7I00</a>

"Just him being in the locker room, his presence was good for the guys," head coach Sean McDermott told reporters after that game.

And in the future, perhaps Hamlin will be back in the locker room as a player—if Mayer's prediction holds up.