Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin, is taking it “one day at a time” as he slowly returns to the field. The 25-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest scare nearly five months ago when he suddenly collapsed on the field mid-game. Now he has began showing up to practice, although his coach made it clear he is not yet participating.
“I’m not going to get into specifics — where he is and what hour. But he’s in the building working, and we’ll take it one day at a time,” stated head coach Sean McDermott on Tuesday (May 23) via the Bills’ official Twitter account.
“He has not been practicing,” McDermott added. “We’re going to just continue to take it one day at a time. We’re going to support Damar in every way possible.”
During a conference at the American Heart Association in May, Hamlin spoke on being cleared to play by his doctor for April, but instead he talked about focusing on his health.
“I’m just trying to focus on the right foot in front of the left,” he said while adding that he just wants to go “with the flow” and not worry about “trying to control too much” of his feelings. He also shared that he was diagnosed with commotio cordis following his medical scare. The condition is described as “a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that causes cardiac arrest, and five to seven seconds later, you fall out.”
According to the AHA, commotio cordis is medically defined as “a rare cardiac arrest immediately following a blow to the chest” that “induces a potentially lethal heart rhythm disturbance, or arrhythmia, called ventricular fibrillation.” Although rare, the condition can cause “sudden death in young athletes.”
As of now, Hamlin has not revealed when he plans to return to the field to play.