Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin woke up on Wednesday night and asked in writing if his team had beaten the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night.
“Did we win?” Hamlin wrote with a pen on a piece of paper on a clipboard.
“Yes, you won the game of life,” the nurse responded, according to University of Cincinnati Medical Center doctors on a virtual call.
He was unable to speak because of the breathing tube in his throat.
The first public word of Hamlin being “awake” came from Bills teammate Kaiir Elam on Twitter Thursday morning.
The Bills added that Hamlin has shown “remarkable improvement” in the intensive care unit and said “while still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.”
The Bills return to practice Thursday and are scheduled to speak to the media later in the afternoon.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport tweeted that Hamlin “opened his eyes last night and is responsive” and ESPN’s Coley Harvey tweeted on Thursday that Hamlin has been gripping the hands of family members while in the ICU.
Hamlin has been at UC Medical Center intensive care unit since Monday night after he collapsed on the field and went into cardiac arrest. The 24-year-old had to be resuscitated on the field after tackling Bengals’ wide receiver Tee Higgins. The second-year safety out of Pitt received CPR on the field for nearly nine minutes.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Hamlin’s father, Mario Hamlin, addressed the entire Bills team on Zoom Wednesday to give them an update on the improving condition of his son.
The game against the Bengals on Monday Night Football was postponed with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter. The NFL announced Tuesday that the game against Bills-Bengals will not resume this week as the league is undecided on resuming the game at a later date.
Here is the full text of the Bills’ statement:
“Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours. While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress. We are grateful for the love and support we have received.”
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