Just 20 days after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during the Bills-Bengals Week 17 game in Cincinnati, Damar Hamlin returned to Highmark Stadium on Sunday, visiting his Bills teammates in the locker room before their divisional round matchup with Cincy.
Hamlin has been making regular visits to the Bills’ training facility in Orchard Park but cheered from home during the team’s wild-card win over the Dolphins last week.
Though Hamlin has made a remarkable recovery — he needing to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati and spent several days hospitalized in critical condition before eventually returning to Buffalo — his marketing representative cautioned recently that Hamlin still faces a lengthy recovery process ahead of him.
“Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects,” Jordon Rooney told the Associated Press. “Though he is able to visit the team’s facility, Damar is not in position to travel often, and requires additional rest to help his body heal.”
When revealing that Hamlin was regularly visiting his teammates at the Bills’ practice facility, head coach Sean McDermott also made clear that Hamlin was taking things “one baby step at a time” and not participating in team meetings.
Meanwhile, Hamlin continues to receive an outpouring of support from within and beyond the sports world. Hamlin was seen posing by a mural of him that went up in a Buffalo neighborhood in the days after his injury, and also recently spoke to New York governor Kathy Hochul.
Hamlin’s family also returned to Highmark Stadium, clad in his No. 3 jersey that became a symbol of support for him as he recovered. Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, who collided with Hamlin shortly before the latter’s collapse, also expressed hope that he would get to talk to Hamlin before Sunday’s game.
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