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Damar Hamlin: NFL star plays first game since suffering cardiac arrest on pitch | US News


An American football star has returned to competitive action in a “remarkable” comeback seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game.

Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin said playing again “was fun, super fun” and a “great experience” following his team’s 23-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts in a pre-season clash in New York state on Saturday.

The 25-year-old collapsed on 2 January moments after making a tackle on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

(L-R) Hamlin collapsed after tackling Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in January. Pic: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Hamlin had managed to get to his feet and appeared to adjust his helmet, but then tumbled backwards and lay motionless.

In front of stunned players and a packed crowd, he was then given CPR on the pitch as millions watched on TV.

Hamlin was then taken to hospital in a critical condition and placed in intensive care before being discharged nine days later in what was seen as a remarkable recovery.

During Saturday’s game at the Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, he made three tackles and said he had no reservations on the field.

He told reporters: “It was a great experience, you know what I’m saying? Just another milestone and the step of getting back to myself in the football space and the NFL.”

“When you step in between them lines, you are putting yourself at risk by hesitating and by reserving yourself.

“I made the choice that I wanted to play. It wasn’t anybody else’s choice but mine. So making that choice, I know what comes with it.

Damar Hamlin
Hamlin at the Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park on Saturday

‘No hesitation’

He added: “When you see my cleats laced up and my helmet and shoulder pads on, there ain’t going to be no hesitation. You can’t play this game like that.”

Read more:
Doctors ‘ecstatic’ about recovery of NFL star
Hamlin’s career far from over, says doctor

Before Saturday’s game, the NFL posted on social media saying “Welcome back, @HamlinIsland” along with a video that showed Hamlin arriving at the team’s stadium and flashing a heart-shaped gesture with his hands.

“What we just witnessed is remarkable, it really is,” said Bills head coach Sean McDermott. “It’s a true sign of a young man’s courage and obviously everyone that helped him get to this point.”


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