Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he “would love to give the storybook ending” to Damar Hamlin’s recovery from a cardiac arrest, but admitted it’s still unclear whether the 24-year-old would play again.
Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle in a game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2.
Doctors and trainers administered CPR and used a defibrillator on the field to resuscitate him, after which he was transferred to medical centers in Cincinnati and Buffalo before being released on January 11.
The cause of the cardiac arrest, which meant Hamlin’s heart abruptly stopped beating, has not been determined.
On Tuesday, Beane said Hamlin is “doing great” as he continues his recovery but needs full medical clearance if he wants to play again.
“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’s just got his life back, but he would have his football career back and have an opportunity to go out there and play,” Beane told reporters at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
“We’ll continue to support Damar through this whole thing. I would love to give the storybook ending that he’s definitely going to play, but we just don’t know that yet. If he does, we’ll all be very happy for him.”
Speaking on Good Morning America last month, Hamlin said he feels “great” physically but is still “working through things” emotionally.
He said a potential return to the sport is a “tough situation” as it will ultimately be up to him, rather than doctors, to make that call.
“It will be a decision for Damar, but it will also be a decision for us,” Beane continued.
“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 endgame: to continue playing.
“We want to make sure that we’re all in sync, assuming the doctors say at some point, he’s seen them all [and] we’re in agreement that we’re okay putting him out there, too. So far, all is well with his testing and we’ll just let that continue.”
Beane said that Hamlin has seen several specialists since the NFL season concluded and that there are two or three more specialists he has to see.