Damar Hamlin 'will play professional football again,' NFL players union doctor says

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin prior to the start of the first half of a preseason NFL football game on Saturday, August 28, 2021.

(CNN)Just over a month after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Buffalo Bills safety has received an optimistic prognosis on his playing future from the NFL players union doctor.

"I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again," Dr. Thom Mayer, medical director of the NFL Players Association, said on SiriusXM Doctor Radio's "Heart to Heart" program on Wednesday.
Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle in the first quarter of the game against the Bengals on January 2.
    Doctors and trainers administered CPR and used a defibrillator on the field to resuscitate Hamlin before he was taken out of the stadium in an ambulance, leaving players, coaches, fans and the TV audience in shock.
      Medical officials said he went into cardiac arrest, meaning his heart abruptly stopped beating. The game was postponed and ultimately canceled.
        Hamlin was admitted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center before being transferred to a Buffalo medical center on January 9 and released on January 11. The cause of his collapse still has not been determined.
        Subsequently Hamlin has made remarkable progress, and he was discharged from a Buffalo medical center on January 11.
          Hamlin was present at the Bills' divisional round match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 22, in which the Bills lost 27-10.
          Earlier this month, Hamlin launched a campaign, in partnership with the American Heart Association, to increase CPR awareness and education.
          CNN Sports anchor and former Bills player Coy Wire said the league's ability to act quickly to administer life-saving CPR to Hamlin is the biggest positive to take away from this NFL season.
          "Outside of the highlight reel players, outside of the comebacks we saw, the parity and the competition that brings excitement -- 50% of the playoff teams this year were new to the playoffs -- aside from that, perhaps the league's greatest achievement this year was bringing to light the importance of CPR preparedness," Wire said.
          NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he was proud of the league and team preparations ahead of the "Monday Night Football" game in Buffalo when Hamlin went into cardiac arrest.
          "Our players are getting the best care anywhere," said Goodell at his annual Super Bowl media conference on Wednesday.
          "The work that they [health personnel] have invested in by bringing in these great professionals, by bringing in the best of the best did contribute to saving a young man's life. And I'm incredibly proud of that."
          Hamlin stands near the sidelines during introductions prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on January 2, 2023.

          'Profound dedication'

          Hamlin was honored on Wednesday as he won the 2023 NFL Players Association Alan Page Community Award.
          "I just want to say, 'thank you' and just thank God for being here and thank the other guys who was nominated for the award as well who did the work in their community," Hamlin said.