Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is still yearning for his return to football following January’s horrifying on-field collapse, but an actual timeframe isn’t exactly set in stone. When speaking to reporters Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Bills general manager Brandon Beane spoke about what the road back could entail for the 24-year-old defender, who previously remarked that his goal is to play football again.
“He’s seen several specialists since our season has ended. That’s not done. I think he’s got two or three more that he’s got to see in various parts of the country. We’ve had one to two guys traveling with him to see these specialists because it will be a decision for Damar, but it’ll also be a decision for us,” Beane said, per Pro Football Talk. Beane continued that while he’s aware of Hamlin’s desire to play, the Buffalo exec wants to make sure all parties involved are “in sync” with what’s best.
“We want to make sure that we hear everything that’s — assuming he gets full clearance, I know he would want to play. I know that’s his end game, to continue playing. We want to make sure that we’re all in sync with, assuming the doctors say at some point he’s seen them all, that we’re in agreement that we’re OK putting him out there, too. But, so far, all is well with his testing and we’ll just let that continue,” he said.
Should Hamlin get “full clearance” and “feels he’s ready to do it,” Beane noted, “That’s another big smile of a story.” “Not only that he’s just got his life back, but that he’d have his football career back,” Beane said of Hamlin, per CBS News.
It’s been nearly two months since Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field in Cincinnati following a collision with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and sought immediate medical attention. A week later, Hamlin was transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center before being released in mid-January to continue his rehab from home.
Earlier this month, Hamlin shared in an interview with Fox how he’d like to suit up again. “Eventually. That’s always the goal, like I said, as a competitor, you know, I’m trying to do things to keep advancing my situation,” Hamlin said, according to ESPN. “But I’m allowing that to be in God’s hands. I’m just thankful he gave me a second chance.”
Hamlin, who has stepped out publicly following the horrifying ordeal, was originally selected by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Regardless of what happens next, the Bills organization will be behind Hamlin every step of the way. “We’ll continue to support Damar throughout this whole thing,” Beane added. “I would love to give the storybook ending that he’s definitely going to play, but we don’t know that yet. If he does, we’ll all be happy for him.”