Players on the Buffalo Bills will return to practice today for the first time since Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on Monday night, as the team will now prepare to take on the New England Patriots on Sunday while the 24-year-old remains in intensive care.
On Wednesday morning, the Bills tweeted that club officials will ‘hold meetings and a walk through’ with players and staff, although the team will not face the media until at least Thursday.
Other teams in the NFL have also canceled their media availability this week out of respect for Hamlin, including the Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It remains unclear if the Bills will release any further updates on Hamlin’s condition on Wednesday.
The Bills safety is still intubated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Ohio and is showing encouraging signs of recovery, as doctors have lowered the level of oxygen that Hamlin needs from 100 percent to 50 percent.
The Bills will hold practice for the first time since Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on Monday
Two days following his cardiac arrest in Cincinnati, Ohio, Harmin remains intubated at the hospital
Hamlin, 24, collapsed in the opening quarter of Monday Night Football at Paycor Stadium
Bills players reacted after realizing the seriousness of Hamlin’s situation, praying for his safety
Speaking from outside the hospital on Tuesday, Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, revealed that his 24-year-old newcomer needed to have his heart restarted twice — once on the field, and again after he arrived at the hospital. Glenn also provided those details to other outlets, including ESPN and NFL Network, further revealing that the Bills safety has suffered lung damage.
“They were resuscitating him on the field before they brought him to the hospital and then resuscitated him a second time when he got to the hospital,” Glenn told CNN. ‘I just want to show my gratitude for the medical staff that were on hand because if not for them, my nephew probably wouldn’t even be here.’
Glenn said he was watching the game on TV with some relatives in Pittsburgh when he saw Hamlin lose consciousness and fall onto the field at Paycor Stadium following a tackle from Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. He arrived in Cincinnati early Tuesday; the cities are about 300 miles apart.
“I never cried so hard in my life,” Glenn said. ‘Just to know, like, my nephew basically died on the field and they brought him back to life. I mean, it’s just heartbreaking.’
Hamlin’s uncle Dorrian Glenn, pictured, said he saw his nephew collapse live on television
Football fans gather outside the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for Hamlin in Ohio
Bills fans attend a candlelight prayer vigil for player Damar Hamlin in Orchard Park, Buffalo, NY
The chilling scene of Hamlin’s collapse, which played out in front of a US television audience on ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football,’ has put the NFL on hold, with the game suspended.
As of Wednesday, league officials have yet to reschedule the contest and NFL Executive Vice President of football operations Troy Vincent insisted on Tuesday that there were no talks about resuming the Bills-Bengals game on Monday following Hamlin’s immediate collapse, despite reports.
NFL playoffs start on January 14, with the Bills bound to reach the postseason as the first seed of the AFC East. The Bengals have also clinched a playoff birth by winning the AFC North.
For now, players on both teams will have to shift their focus to Week 18 of league action, although the Bengals’ game against the Ravens on Sunday has yet to be scheduled.
First and foremost, the Bengals continue to send thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family. Our hearts are with everyone in this unprecedented time – what we can do is support each other,’ Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement from earlier this week.
In Buffalo, the Bills changed their social media avatar to that of Hamlin’s No. 3 jerseys with the words ‘Pray For Damar.’ The other 31 teams and the NFL quickly followed suit.
The Bills, as well as other NFL teams, including the Patriots – Buffalo’s opponents on Sunday – have changed their social media avatar to that of Hamlin’s No. 3 jerseys
While some Bills players stayed in Cincinnati to be with their teammates, the rest returned home early on Tuesday, when they were greeted by a handful of fans watching silently from the side of the road outside Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
The Bills took the day off and were unsure when they might resume practicing, putting Hamlin above everything else, including their quest to clinch the AFC’s top seed.
Please pray for our brother,’ quarterback Josh Allen posted in a tweet.
Added offensive lineman Rodger Saffold: ‘He is more than an athlete. He is a son and brother. And I pray God gives him mercy and brings him back to us.’
Bills QB Josh Allen asked people to pray for Hamlin, referring to him as ‘brother’ on Monday
Bills offensive lineman Rodger Saffold tweeted that he prayed ‘God gives’ Hamlin ‘mercy’ and ‘brings him back to us’
Hamlin is from McKees Rocks, a hardscrabble suburb of Pittsburgh, and was selected by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He spent his rookie season limited to special teams roles, and took over the starting job in Week 3 in place of veteran Micah Hyde, who remains sidelined by a neck injury.
Overnight, Hamlin went from being a relatively unknown second-year player to receiving an international outpouring of support.
His Chasing M’s Foundation eclipsed its modest goal of raising $2,500, exceeding $5 million by Tuesday evening, thanks to donations from seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and former NYC mayor, Rudy Guiliani.
The Bills now face perhaps their most difficult hurdle in a calendar year filled with on- and off-field adversity. The team has seen its schedule disrupted twice by major snowstorms in the past month, including a blizzard that led to at least 39 deaths in the region over Christmas.
The Bills also rallied to support the community in the aftermath of a racist shooting rampage that left 10 dead at a Buffalo supermarket in May.
On Tuesday, it was the region’s turn to rally for the team on both sides of the New York-Ontario border. The Ontario-based Niagara Parks commission announced it will illuminate Niagara Falls in blue in honor of Hamlin.
“Our collective thoughts are with him, his family, his team and the City of Buffalo,” the commission wrote.
Niagara Falls was lit up in blue on Tuesday tonight in support of Hamlin and the Buffalo Bills