Damar Hamlin has shown ‘signs of improvement’ but remains in critical condition, team says

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is showing “signs of improvement” and loved ones are “elated” by the player’s progress, even as he is still hospitalized in critical condition, his team and family said Wednesday.

The Bills’ update came two days after Hamlin collapsed on the Cincinnati field, followed by first responders performing CPR and taking him to the nearby University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

“Damar remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted yesterday and overnight,” said the bills said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “He is expected to remain in intensive care while his healthcare team continues to monitor and treat him.”

Family friend and spokesman Jordon Rooney said Hamlin’s health is moving in “a positive direction.”

“They’re elated right now,” Rooney told The Associated Press. “Damar is still his first concern. But for them, they are always looking at how they can turn a somewhat worrisome situation into a good one. The recovery from this, for him and his family, will be incredible.”

Cincinnati led 7-3 when Hamlin dropped Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins after a 13-yard gain. The defender got up from what seemed like a routine play before losing control and falling backwards to the ground at Paycor Stadium.

Hamlin went into cardiac arrestand his “heartbeat was restored in the field,” the The bills have said.

The game has been postponed and league officials said Wednesday that internal talks about rescheduling or canceling that game have just begun.

Games in Week 18, which will be the finals of the regular season, will continue as scheduled, the NFL said.

All scenarios are on the table and troy vincentThe NFL’s executive vice president of football operations warned teams and fans that the final decision could be unpopular with some clubs.

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As it stands, the 12-3 Bills are a half-game behind the 13-3 Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The Bills have a tiebreaker over the Chiefs by virtue of Buffalo’s victory in Kansas City in October.

“There may be a lack of fairness, where it may not be perfect,” Vincent said. “But it will allow those who participate and have earned the right to play to continue to play.”

During a 38-minute meeting with reporters, NFL officials were repeatedly asked if the Bills were emotionally ready to play their next scheduled game. Sunday against the New England Patriots.

Every time, League officials declined to guarantee that contest would go on as scheduled.

“It’s really important that we keep the pulse of the coach and the players and don’t get ahead of it,” Vincent said.

“We’ll allow (Buffalo coach) Sean (McDermott) and his team and his staff and the players, who are the most important thing, to be here to guide us.”