Damar Hamlin, a 24-year-old safety for the Buffalo Bills, was critically injured after a scary on-field incident against the Cincinnati Bengals Jan. 2. After spending weeks recovering in Cincinnati and Buffalo hospitals, many wondered whether or not he would ever be able to return to an NFL field.
During the first quarter of that Monday Night Football matchup, Hamlin dropped to the ground, unconscious, after a seemingly routine tackle. He had suffered cardiac arrest, and his heartbeat had to be revived before they put him in an ambulance and sent him to a local hospital. The in-game medical staff was credited with saving Hamlin’s life. The game was initially postponed before ultimately being canceled.
According to a report by CNN, Dr. Thom Mayer, the medical director of the NFL’s Players Association, offered a “guarantee” that Hamlin will compete on the gridiron at the highest levels of competition.
“I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again,” Mayer said on SiriusXM Doctor Radio’s Heart to Heart show on Wednesday.
Mayer didn’t specify whether that professional level would be in the NFL or another professional football league. However, the magnitude of such a prediction slightly more than a month removed from his devastating mid-game injury was impossible to ignore.
Mayer’s comments about Hamlin came on the same day the Buffalo Bills player was honored with the 2023 NFL Players Association Alan Page Community Award.
“I just want to say, ‘thank you’ and just thank God for being here and thank the other guys who was nominated for the award as well who did the work in their community,” Hamlin said.
“Giving back to my community has always been a big part of who I am. Thankful to my father who is right here behind me. Growing up just watching him do community days in our community and I just always waiting on my time when it came.
“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 community across the world,” Hamlin added.
The award “recognizes one player who demonstrates a profound dedication to positively impacting his team’s city and communities across the country,” according to the NFLPA.
Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation community toy drive has raised over $9 million as of Saturday.
Hamlin, who’s since thanked fans around the world for their support and prayers, has yet to comment on whether he’ll continue playing in the NFL. Obviously, the most important thing right now is for him to get his health under control. Hopefully, we’ll get to see him compete at a high level again in the near future.
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NFL Doctor Offers ‘Guarantee’ Damar Hamlin Will Play Pro Football Again was originally published on wzakcleveland.com
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