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Damar Hamlin has little left to prove to Bills coach Sean McDermott as he seeks to resume his football career after a life-threatening incident during a game in Cincinnati in January.
“From my non-medical perspective, I believe he’s met all the criteria in that regard,” McDermott stated on Thursday. “There’s been a sufficient enough sample where you can see he has performed well and emerged from it healthy.”
McDermott’s evaluation is based on how Hamlin has confidently surpassed each step of his recovery, particularly since the Bills started practicing with pads three weeks ago. Additionally, the coach was further encouraged by Hamlin’s performance in Buffalo’s preseason-opening victory over Indianapolis last weekend.
Hamlin participated in three tackles, one of which halted Evan Hull for no gain on fourth-and-1, during 22 defensive snaps. This marked his first competitive appearance since experiencing cardiac arrest and being resuscitated on the field after a seemingly routine tackle against the Bengals on January 2. Commotio cordis, a condition where a direct impact at a specific point in the heartbeat triggers cardiac arrest, caused Hamlin’s heart to stop.
After the Colts game, McDermott lauded Hamlin’s display as “a remarkable show of courage, strength, and faith,” while adding: “What we just witnessed, to me, is extraordinary.”
McDermott’s endorsement of Hamlin underscores his progress towards earning a spot on the Bills roster and reclaiming his backup role behind starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.
With two more preseason games ahead, starting with a significant one against the Steelers on Saturday in Hamlin’s hometown of Pittsburgh, the Bills remain confident in Hamlin’s abilities. The 25-year-old, who grew up in the nearby area of McKees Rocks and played college football at Pitt before being drafted by Buffalo in 2021, eagerly anticipates the game and the support of his family and friends in attendance.
The Bills conclude their preseason campaign in Chicago on August 26, just three days before final roster cuts are due.
Source: with agencies