Damar Hamlin’s NFL comeback will continue with the Buffalo Bills this season.
Hamlin made the Bills’ roster Tuesday as NFL teams reduced their rosters to 53 players ahead of the 2023 regular season, per reports.
Hamlin, whose cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game in January made national headlines, played in all three games for the Bills this preseason.
Bills training camp was Hamlin’s first return to football action after his cardiac arrest episode on Jan. 2 during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I pretty much lost my life playing this sport,” Hamlin said on July 31 after his first padded practice with the Bills in training camp.
PLAY TO WIN $10K: USA TODAY’s Pro Football Survivor Pool is free to enter. Sign up now!
NFL ROSTER MOVES:Updates on teams’ moves leading up to Tuesday’s deadline
How much has Damar Hamlin played during Bills’ preseason?
Hamlin’s participation was ramped up in the final preseason game against the Chicago Bears last Saturday, where he played in 60% of the defensive snaps in the last preseason game (37 total) and in five special teams snaps (19%).
Hamlin played 22 defensive snaps (33%) and four special teams snaps (19%) in Buffalo’s first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Aug. 12.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 19, Hamlin played in 21 defensive snaps (32%) and 10 special teams snaps (38%) during the game.
How far has Damar Hamlin come since health scare?
Hamlin was medically cleared by three specialists to return to football activities in April.
“Over the past few months, I’ve been on a journey, and I’ve seen some of the top professionals across the country. And their answers to me were all the same. This event was lifechanging, but it’s not the end of my story,” Hamlin said in a news conference.
“I’m here to announce I plan on making a comeback to the NFL.”
What happened to Damar Hamlin?
Hamlin said he suffered from a bout of commotio cordis, which is a rare cause of cardiac arrest that starts with a blow to the chest in a precise spot at just the wrong time in the heartbeat, according to the American Heart Association.
Hamlin collapsed and was resuscitated on the field just before halftime of the Bills-Bengals game in Cincinnati on Jan. 2. He was admitted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and sedated for two days before waking up Jan. 4.
Hamlin’s first question upon waking up was asking doctors if the Bills won their regular-season game against the Bengals.
“Did we win?” Hamlin asked on paper, to which doctors told Hamlin he “won the game of life.”
Hamlin began breathing on his own and walking around the intensive care unit two days later. He was released from the hospital and flew home to Buffalo on Jan. 9, where he spent two days at the Buffalo General Medical Center under evaluation.
Hamlin returned to the Bills facility in mid-January as the team navigated its postseason run before losing to the Bengals on Jan. 22.
Where does Damar Hamlin, Bills go from here?
Hamlin, a sixth-round pick by the Bills in 2021, has two years remaining on his rookie contract with Buffalo, counting for $980,119 on the salary cap in 2023 and slightly more than $1 million in 2024.
Hamlin will provide depth at the safety position for the Bills, who will rely on veterans Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer at safety, with Taylor Rapp and Cam Lewis among bench players.
Hamlin received an outpouring of support following his incident, as more than $9 million was donated to a GoFundMe page dedicated to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive.