A small but important piece of good news on Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin’s condition. In a tweet released by the team moments ago, they note Hamlin’s condition has improved over the last 24 hours. He remains in critical condition in the ICU.
Hamlin was injured just before 9 PM/EST on Monday night after tackling Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver Tee Higgins. After taking Higgins’ helmet to the chest, Hamlin stood up and then collapsed. His heart stopped and doctors and medical personnel revived him on the field before transporting him to a nearby Cincinnati hospital.
While Hamlin’s condition remains serious, the news about his health has been positive over the last several hours. Hamlin’s uncle told reporters last night that Hamlin was only on 50% oxygen after being at 100%. Hopefully, the good news on his status continues over the coming days.
There’s been an outpouring of thoughts and support for Hamlin since the injury. The Bills’ community has been impacted the most but Pittsburgh certainly has felt the weight of the injury. Hamlin is a Pittsburgh native who attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic and played his college ball at Pitt. Mike Tomlin spoke about the long relationship the two have had. Here’s what he said about Hamlin during his Tuesday press conference.
“It’s a really personal thing for me. Being a Pittsburgher. And that young man being a Pittsburgher. I’ve known that young man since he’s probably been twelve. Just got a lot of love and respect for him as a human being. His commitment to his pursuit of his goals and dreams of doing what he’s doing right now which is playing in the NFL. To watch him make personal decisions and make that a realization. It’s just an honor to get to know young people like that.
“Had an opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him. We played Buffalo each of the last two seasons and he and I get to have a moment. It’s cool to not only appreciate these guys in terms of where they are now but to know them since they were younger people. To watch their maturation and development. To watch them earn what they’ve been chasing. It’s just really a cool thing. He’s an example of that. Got a lot of love for that young man. We lift he and that organization up in prayer.”
Hamlin’s Toy Drive has now raised over $6 million with donations from fans all over the world. Other NFL players like Tom Brady and Russell Wilson have donated, too.
The NFL has not announced a makeup date for the Bills/Bengals game, only noting the game will not resume anytime this week. Though the league hasn’t confirmed, it’s also possible the game is declared a no-contest, though there’s no official provision in the CBA that allows it. As of now, the Week 18 schedule remains unchanged meaning the Bills will play the Patriots Sunday at 1 PM/EST while the Steelers host the Browns at the same time. Should that change, we’ll let you know. But obviously, the focus and what’s most important is Damar Hamlin and this is encouraging news.