NFL: What happened to Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin? Will he be able to play again?

Damar Hamlin

After taking what seems to be a light hit to the chest, Buffalo Bills’ sophomore Safety Damar Hamlin collapsed to the ground and was diagnosed with a cardiac arrest moments after the play was paused. Hamlin, 24, took a tackle from Cincinnati Bengals’ Tee Higgins during the first quarter of the Bengals vs Bills Monday Night football game. Although his heartbeat was restored after receiving CPR from the medical staff, Hamlin was brought to the University of Cincinnati hospital and was informed that he was in critical condition, according to the Buffalo Bills.

“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

The NFL opted to suspend the game with just a little less than 6 minutes played in the first quarter. Watch the full sequence of the play in this video:

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Can Damar Hamlin recover?

According to his team, Damar Hamlin is indeed in a critical condition and he is being supported via a breathing tube. His status is still being monitored by the entire world of football and everyone is praying for his recovery.

According to Dr. Anthony Cardillo, when asked about his insights into Hamlin’s predicament, he told ABC7 that what happened to Hamlin is usually “unsurvivable”. He also added that 9 minutes of CPR is too long and might incur some damage to his brain since it can only allow about 3 minutes of not getting any oxygen. However, he was optimistic that Hamlin may recover given that he is still young (24 years old) and a well-conditioned athlete. Despite that, his chances of recovery are not so good let alone his ability to get back on the field.

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Damar Hamlin isn’t the first Buffalo Bills player to experience this kind of injury

Before Hamlin, the Bills’ Tight End, Kevin Everett, suffered a gruesome spinal injury during a game against the Denver Broncos in September of 2007. Everett was then brought to a hospital where he received immediate surgeries. Days after his operation, Everett couldn’t walk and was paralyzed. However, he was able to recover but was never able to return to playing football. Today, Everett can be seen walking on his own but still attends rehabilitation every now and then.

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Kevin Everett

NFL players who suffered similar injuries were able to walk again. Meanwhile, some were left paralyzed for the rest of their lives. More times than not, these athletes were never able to make a comeback to the sport they loved. Truthfully, American football is probably the most dangerous sport there is. Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest just goes to show how deadly a tackle could be.

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Sources: ABC7, The Washington Post

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