Bills’ Damar Hamlin is a ‘full go’ at training camp, nearly 7 months after cardiac arrest

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has no restrictions as he starts training camp, head coach Sean McDermott told the media on Wednesday. Almost seven months after going into cardiac arrest during a game, Hamlin is free to go as fast as he wants.

Shortly after that announcement, Hamlin ran onto the field for training camp for the first time. The crowd welcomed him with open arms.

Hamlin being a full go at training camp was nearly impossible to imagine on Jan. 2, 2023, when he went into cardiac arrest on the field after taking a hit square to the chest during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He lost consciousness and his heart stopped, and emergency medical personnel had to restart his heart with a portable defibrillator. He was down on the field for 15 minutes before being taken to the hospital directly from the middle of Paycor Field. He was listed in critical condition and needed a breathing tube.

Bills safety Damar Hamlin is a full go at training camp just seven months after going into cardiac arrest in the middle of a game. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

That breathing tube was removed just a few days later as Hamlin began his incredible recovery. He was released from the hospital nine days after his cardiac arrest, and three months later he was cleared for activity and practice. He participated in team OTAs in June with no issue, and is restriction-free at training camp. The next step for him would presumably be a preseason game in August, and then finally a return to a regular season NFL game.

Hamlin’s ordeal was on the minds of many people on Tuesday, when Bronny James, the 18-year-old son of LeBron James, went into cardiac arrest during a basketball workout and had to be rushed to the hospital. (Bronny has since been moved out of the ICU and is in stable condition.) Hamlin sent the James family his best wishes on Twitter.

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