Bills GM: Damar Hamlin’s health, playing future still being evaluated

The Buffalo Bills know safety Damar Hamlin, who has recovered from collapsing after a cardiac arrest during a game on Jan. 3, wants to play football again. 

But the Bills, and medical professionals evaluating Hamlin since his incident, do not know whether he will just yet. 

“If he’s able to get full clearance and he feels he’s ready to do it, that’s another big smile of a story. Not that he just got his life back, but he would have his football career back and have an opportunity to go out there and play,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine. 

“We’ll continue to support Damar throughout this whole thing. 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.”

Hamlin has seen multiple health specialists outside of his “world tour” as “America’s guest” – as Beane affectionately put it, seeing him in attendance at events like the Super Bowl and basketball games this offseason. 

Beane said Hamlin has at least two or three more specialists to meet with in various parts of the country as part of his evaluation. The Bills have also sent at least 1-2 medical staffers with Hamlin for doctor visits.

“It will be a decision for Damar, but it will also be a decision for us,” Beane said.

“We want to make sure we’re hearing everything. 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 we’re all in sync, assuming the doctors say at some point… we’re in agreement that we’re okay putting him out there, too. So far, all is well with his testing, and we’ll let that continue.’

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.

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