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UPDATE 1-NFL-Bills' Hamlin off breathing tube, speaks to teammates

Reuters · 01/06/2023 11:00
UPDATE 1-NFL-Bills' Hamlin off breathing tube, speaks to teammates

Adds further updates from the Bills

By Amy Tennery

- Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin's breathing tube was removed overnight and the 24-year-old safety is progressing "remarkably," his team said on Friday, citing an update from his physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

"His function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team," the NFL team said.

The Bills also said on social media that Hamlin FaceTimed into their team meeting on Friday to talk with players and coaches: "What he said to the team: 'Love you boys.'"

Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle in the first quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, suffering cardiac arrest, and had to have his heartbeat restored on the field in a scene that stunned fellow players, coaches and millions of fans.

Physicians on Thursday said Hamlin was "demonstrating signs of good recovery" but that it was too soon to comment on his long-term medical prognosis.

The frightening incident prompted a massive outpouring of support from fans and the football community. Donations to an online toy drive fundraiser Hamlin launched in December 2020 skyrocketed in response, raising more than $7.8 million as of Friday.

The National Football League on Thursday said it would resume the game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, with both teams poised to make an impact in the playoffs. The Bills are set to play the New England Patriots as the regular season concludes on Sunday.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Mark Porter and Bill Berkrot)

((Amy.Tennery@thomsonreuters.com; 917-361-8594;))