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Bills lifted by Hamlin progress, hope to show sustainability

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK The Buffalo Bills received some much needed good news on Thursday.

Coach Sean McDermott and his team have revealed that Damar Hamlin has made significant progress in his recovery after his heart stopped during Monday night’s game.

Three days after the Billys were left emotionally devastated by watching their teammate collapse on a field in Cincinnati, the team’s motto changed from “Pray for Damar” to “Play for Damar.”

And an encouraging message from Hamlin’s father, Mario, delivered to the Bills via Zoom on Wednesday provided another boost as the (12-3) Bills resumed training, preparing to host the New England Patriots (8-8) for their season. final on Sunday.

“His message was that the team needed to come back to focus on the goals they had set for themselves. Damar would like it to be that way,” McDermott said. “We are indebted to Damar and we are indebted to his family.”

Quarterback Josh Allen was especially inspired by what Hamlin told his bedside nurse when he woke up Wednesday night. Unable to speak due to the oxygen tube placed in his mouth, Hamlin asked by writing on a notepad if the Billy Bengals had won. (He didn’t know the game was suspended due to his injury.)

“As teammates, you love to hear this response that the first thing that came to his mind was not, you know, ‘poor me. It was the question, “How are my teammates?” Allen said. “For Damar, who went through this and came out the other side, and still, again, just thinking about his teammates, this is Damar. That’s who he is.”

Although 24-year-old Hamlin is still in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, his doctors have given encouraging news of his recovery. In addition to being able to communicate, Hamlin was also able to take people by the hand.

“So we know that it’s not just that the lights are on. We know he is at home. And it seems that all the cylinders in his brain are working, which is very pleasant for all of us, ”said Dr. Timothy Pritts. “He still has a lot of progress to make but this is a really good turning point in his ongoing departure.”

The billing test now focuses on getting back in the field. It’s another challenge in a year full of adversity for one of the best teams in the AFC.

The last remnants of the blizzard that killed more than 40 people in the Christmas area are still visible in melting piles of snow on the area’s streets and parking lots. The storm was the second to hit Buffalo in a month, and the first in November forced the Bills to move their home game against Cleveland to Detroit. The Billies also rallied in support of the community in May following a racist shooting in which 10 people were killed at a Buffalo supermarket.

McDermott is confident that the Billies, as well as their community, will be able to demonstrate their resilience once again.

“How do I know that we can overcome if we have to. Just like we’ve done so many times before, both this city and the people of western New York who’s dealt with what they’ve dealt with. That’s what you do,” McDermott said. “That’s what western New York and Buffalo Bills fans are, that’s what we do.”

This doesn’t mean it was easy. McDermott and Allen struggled to contain their emotions as they sat side by side during the 37-minute press conference.

McDermott had to pause for 10 seconds to discuss the outpouring of worldwide support for Hamlin, whose charitable foundation has received more than $7 million in donations since Monday.

“It’s amazing for me to know the impact this has had on so many people,” McDermott said, his eyes filling with tears. “And now Damar is awake and his mom can share that with him – it’s incredible.”

Allen said it will be difficult to determine how the team will play on Sunday.

“I think it will be a little different for each person. I think getting that helmet back today was really good for our team,” Allen said. “But I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that some people are forever changed, you know, after they’ve been on the field and witnessed it and experienced those emotions.”

What energized the quarterback was talking to Mario Hamlin after his son was hospitalized Monday night.

“The only thing he said was, ‘My son will be fine,'” Allen said.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.

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