Bills announce safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition with signs of improvement

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, 24, remains in critical condition with signs of improvement, two days after suffering a cardiac arrest during Monday’s game against the Bengals, the Bills announced on Wednesday afternoon.

“Damar remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted yesterday and overnight,” the team said in a statement. “He is expected to remain under intensive care as his health care team continues to monitor and treat him.”

Hamlin spent Monday and Tuesday night in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported Wednesday morning. Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s marketing representative and friend, told Wolfe on Wednesday that “right now things are moving in a positive direction. The doctors, what they were looking to see, I think they saw that. I can’t speak specifically on it, but things are moving in the right direction.”

The harrowing incident began with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter of Monday night’s game, when Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins after a 13-yard catch. Hamlin got to his feet, then collapsed backward. Hamlin received CPR while on the field. According to the Bills, his heartbeat was restored on the field before he was transported in an ambulance to the UCMC for further testing and treatment.

“(It’s) not an exaggeration to say that the skilled and immediate response by all these talented caregivers prevented a tragic outcome at that moment,” NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said during a Wednesday conference call.

In the hours since the frightening development Monday night, donations have poured into a GoFundMe originally established in 2020 by Hamlin for a Pittsburgh community toy drive in his native city that is now being used for contributions to “Damar’s community initiatives and his current fight.”

“It’s been incredible, I mean it’s made a really tough situation just a little bit easier,” Rooney told Wolfe. “Damar’s family, they are incredibly supportive themselves, so for them to get support like this, they’re so grateful. They are always giving to others, so for so many people to rally around them, they just keep saying how thankful they are.”

The Hamlin family released a statement shortly before noon ET on Tuesday expressing its appreciation for the widespread support since Monday night:

“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans around the country.

“We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach (Zac) Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done.”

The NFL announced on Tuesday that the Bills-Bengals game, which the league postponed Monday night, will not be resumed this week and there will be no changes to the Week 18 schedule.

The Bills announced on Wednesday the team will hold meetings and a walkthrough practice today.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major