Damar Hamlin has started making regular visits to Bills practice facility, coach says

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin flexes before a game in 2021.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, shown in 2021, suffered cardiac arrest in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago.
(John Amis / Associated Press)

Damar Hamlin has visited the Buffalo Bills at their practice facility multiple times in recent days. Coach Sean McDermott indicated Wednesday the visits could become a daily occurrence as the Bills safety recovers after suffering cardiac arrest during a game earlier this month.

McDermott spoke with reporters before practice as the Bills prepare for their AFC divisional playoff game Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, the team Buffalo was playing on Jan. 2 when Hamlin collapsed and had to be resuscitated on the field. The sixth-year coach was asked how his players were doing in the aftermath of such a traumatic experience.

“I think the guys are in a good spot,” McDermott said. “You know, Damar’s in the building now, almost starting daily, so that’s good news. And as he continues to improve, that certainly helps.”

Asked to elaborate about Hamlin’s visits to the facility, McDermott said Hamlin hasn’t participated in team meetings but instead is just “dipping his toe back in here, you know, getting on the road to, just getting back to himself.”


Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field Monday night in Cincinnati. Here’s our coverage.

Jan. 28, 2023

As for Hamlin’s experiences at the facility, McDermott said: “It’s limited, just overall. But he comes in, and really just started really today or yesterday, and just trying to get back to a little bit of a routine and just get himself acclimated again and taking it one step, one baby step at a time here.”

Hamlin was released from the hospital on Jan. 11 to continue his recovery at home. He visited his teammates for the first time three days later during their walk-through ahead of their wild-card game against the Miami Dolphins. Hamlin’s parents and brother were with him at the time.

“Word traveled fast, because by the end of walk-through everyone had gotten down there to say hello,” McDermott said Sunday of that initial visit, “and he was trying to, you know, being the team guy that he is, trying to stay under the radar and he was kind of all the way down the one end zone there. But yeah, good to see him back in the building.”

Cornerback Kaiir Elam said Sunday: “That was special for the whole team, because everybody just ran up and just bombarded each other trying to get to see him and hug him. And I think that was very special and it lifted a lot of spirits as well.”