NFL Doctor: Bills' Hamlin Will Play Again

Buffalo Bills safety was honored with NFLPA award
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2023 4:59 AM CST
Doctor 'Guarantees' Hamlin Will Play Pro Football Again
Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin, right, speaks after being introduced as the winner of the Alan Page Community Award during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Damar Hamlin's playing days aren't over, the NFL players union doctor said in an optimistic update on Wednesday. "I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again," NFL Players Association medical director Dr. Thom Mayer said on SiriusXM Doctor Radio's "Heart to Heart" program, per CNN. The 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety went into cardiac arrest during a Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was released from a Buffalo hospital on Jan. 11. "Damar's recovery has been remarkable but any decision about his football future will be made by Damar and his family," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement in response to Mayer's remarks. "Obviously, any decision and message about his return to football will come from him on his own time."

Hamlin was named the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award winner at a ceremony in Phoenix Wednesday, ESPN reports. He was honored for his Chasing M’s Foundation community toy drive, which has raised more than $9 million. His parents joined him on stage as he accepted the award. "One of my favorite quotes: It's a blessing to be a blessing," Hamlin said. "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." His foundation was awarded $100,000.

This was Hamlin's first media appearance since the medical emergency, the BBC reports. Smith, the NFLPA director, said, "He is not only an individual who has overcome a tremendous amount. He reminds us just how dangerous this game is, but also of the spirit, the love, the joy, and the fraternity of people who play this game." (More Damar Hamlin stories.)

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