NFL safety Damon Hamlin remained in critical condition at a hospital after going into cardiac arrest during a game earlier this week, but the Buffalo Bills said Thursday morning that his health is improving.

“Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the team said in a statement on Twitter for updates to doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs are recovering and he continues to make progress.”

On Monday night, Bills players watched Hamlin, 24, lying on the field as medical staff attempted to restart his heart after he collapsed following a regular season game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin remained on the field for 10 minutes before being taken to the hospital.

The game was suspended, and Bills receiver Stefon Diggs Shown walking around the hospital in a hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants, Later that night, the team heads back to Buffalo.

Hamlin’s uncle, Dorian Glenn, told reporters Wednesday, “I’m not one to cry, but I’ve never cried more in my life.” “Just to find out that my nephew basically died on the field and they brought him back to life – it’s just heartbreaking.”

The Bills held a walk-through practice on Wednesday and plan to practice again on Thursday in preparation for a game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the league still had not made a decision on whether to end the game, which was suspended for about nine minutes into the first quarter. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said it would not be restarting this week and “everything is being considered.” The matchup had significant playoff implications in the AFC, and with the final week of regular-season games starting Saturday, the NFL faces significant competitive questions as it hopes for Hamlin’s recovery.

Still, both the Bills and Bengals appeared to be preparing to play their originally scheduled games on Wednesday. The Bills, who plan to face the New England Patriots on Sunday, had a walk-through, a practice format in which teams usually go over plays without pads at rest. The session was closed to the news media. The Bengals said on Twitter that they planned to play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon.

Hamlin, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, became a starter earlier this season when All-Pro safety Micah Hyde sustained a neck injury. In 15 games and 13 starts, Hamlin made 63 personal tackles – second most on the team.

With Hamlin still hospitalized, the Bills signed safety Jared Madden from the Jets’ practice squad and released cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The move was announced on social media on Wednesday. The transaction was another reminder of the ruthless next-the-man culture in America’s most popular sport, where teams must move quickly and replace players who may have life-changing injuries.

Buffalo, Cincinnati and Kansas City are all in the race for the AFC’s No. 1 seed, a position that carries home-field advantage throughout the playoffs leading up to the Super Bowl.

Anything but considering the game a tie would require the league to accommodate the final week of the season and the playoffs, or these teams would have to play a game on less rest, leaving them more prone to injury.



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