UPDATE: Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube is out, Bills say

CINCINNATI, OH – Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is hospitalized in intensive care after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during a Monday night game at the Bengals. University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff say he is awake and improving. Here are the latest updates:


Breathing tube is out: The Bills say that Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight.

“He continues to progress remarkably in his recovery. His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team,” said the Bills in a Tweet.

Damar Hamlin speaks in video call with Bills team: In a video call on Friday with Bills players and staff, Damar Hamlin spoke with his teammates, saying “I love you, boys.” He also flexed his muscles and made a heart sign with his hands.

In a press conference, head coach Sean McDermott said Bills players saw their teammate who went into cardiac arrest during the Monday night game at the Cincinnati Bengals.

“It was amazing, touching to see Damar through my own eyes…to watch the reaction in the room with the players and the staff and the team,” McDermott said. “…You could see the look on their eye.” Full story here.

Hamlin Injury Triggers Discussions About Mental Health: While Damar Hamlin continues his recovery following a cardiac arrest that happened on the field during a game on Monday night, his coach and teammates are talking frankly about the mental health challenges they’ve faced this week because of it. 

Coach Sean McDermott also spoke honestly and directly about how he’s been coping, “like anybody else, I need to be able to have enough self-awareness to know when I need a break and when I need to seek out a counselor as well, so I think it’s important to note that that is not a sign of weakness, if anything that’s a sign of strength and people need to know that out there,” he said. Full story here.


Cincinnati doctors speak about Damar’s improvement: Physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center say Damar Hamlin is awake, able to communicate by writing, and is improving in his medical condition.

Damar has been in critical care at UCMC since he went into cardiac arrest after the Monday night game at the Bengals. The hospital’s emergency department director Dr. Timothy Pritts and the hospital’s general surgery division chief Dr. William Knight spoke at a press conference on Thursday afternoon about Damar’s improvement.

According to Dr. Knight, after Damar woke up, he wrote on a piece of paper ‘who won the game?’ Dr. Knight said ‘Yes, Damar did win. He won the game of life.’ Damar has been able to communicate by writing brief messages and by shaking his head ‘yes’ and ‘no’, according to Dr. Timothy Pritts.

Damar is able to move his hands and feet. Since waking, he has held the hands of family members, teammates, and medical staff.

The doctors say they still don’t know what caused the cardiac arrest. They would have to perform tests once he’s more recovered to determine the cause.

Members of the Bills organization and Damar’s family have been at his bedside all week, and “we want to get him home to them,” Dr. William Knight said.

Medical staff have told him how much support has been flowing in for him. “It appears that all cylinders are firing in his brain, which is extremely gratifying for us,” Dr. Pritts said.

“We want to see him continue to breathe more on his own and then breathe completely on his own. That would be the next big milestone for him,” he said.

Doctors explained the steps to removing Damar’s breathing tube eventually. At first, Damar was 100% reliant on the ventilator for breathing and that percentage has gone down. When he is 0% reliant, medical staff can take out the breathing tube. You can see the full conference here:

Damar Hamlin

Bills take practice field amid encouraging news on Damar Hamlin’s recovery: The Bills were back in their gear Thursday, running plays and executing strategy, days after their teammate collapsed Monday night just minutes into their contest with Cincinnati.

Quarterback Josh Allen, who wiped away tears Monday when safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle, was all smiles – as were several other players. Shortly after practice ended, the Bills addressed the media for the first time since Monday night’s game. And if one word could describe the mood, it was “emotional.” Full story and full press conference here.

Josh Allen and the team practice Thursday, Jan. 5 in Orchard Park. (Photo: Buffalo Bills)

Bills fans react to Damar Hamlin’s recovery: When Damar Hamlin went down Bills super fan Ken Johnson – known as Pinto Ron – was just like every other fan at Monday night’s game in Cincinnati – confused.

When fans in the stands finally found out, Bills defensive back damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after a tackle, Johnson says everyone even Bengals fans went silent. Noah, Janis, and Michael were with a Bills Mafia support group in the Frontier Commons parking lot tonight – making cards for the team and Hamlin. They’ll bring those cards to Sunday’s game in Buffalo. Full story here.

Bills fans

AP sources: NFL will not resume Bills-Bengals game (3 p.m.): The NFL will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league is still figuring out how to determine playoff seedings and scheduling. The NFL Players Association must approve changes. Full story here.

Damar’s remarkable improvement (10:30 a.m.): Damar Hamlin has “shown remarkable improvement” over the past 24 hours, the Bills say.

“While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress,” said the Bills in a Tweet.

In a Tweet, Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam says that his teammate Damar is awake.


People have reported that Bills’ assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington played a huge role in helping Damar to stay alive. The trainer immediately began chest compressions and performed CPR to restore Damar’s heartbeat.

Hamlin’s charity gets over $7 million in donations (5 a.m.): Damar Hamlin’s charity, the Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive, has gotten over $7 million in donations.

More than 215,000 people and organizations have donated to the foundation that supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, and kids camps. You can donate here.

Among the donors include Robert Kraft and The New England Patriots, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and recording artist Ciara Wilson, and LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.


Hamlin’s condition is improving: Damar Hamlin’s condition showed signs of improvement overnight and on Tuesday, the Bills said. He is still in critical condition in the intensive care unit of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

NBC News National Correspondent Jay Gray reported live from the hospital. Medical staff tell him that Hamlin’s condition is going in the right direction.

However, according to Gray, the improvement is “by no means is this a sign that he’s out of the woods yet. In fact, family acknowledged that his recovery is very uncertain.” Here is the live report from Gray:

“Here’s what we know, he’s still sedated, still in intensive care in critical condition. We know that he is on a ventilator which is helping him breathe but also that the amount of oxygen that is necessary is greatly reduced, so he’s not relying on that ventilator as much as he had been over the past couple of days. That’s a great sign as they try to get him to breathe on his own at some point.” Full story here.

Rochester skyline lights up: The Rochester skyline lit up in the Bills’ colors, blue, red, and white, in support of Damar Hamlin. The Bills say Hamlin remains in critical condition but is showing signs of improvement.

Blue Cross Arena light up in Bills colors Wednesday night

Family of Geneseo football player who collapsed during game speaks out after Hamlin’s injury: The mother of Julian Huffman, the Geneseo High School football player who collapsed during a game, spoke about her reaction to Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. You can imagine the heartbreak she felt after hearing of Hamlin’s injury — bringing back memories after Julian was seriously hurt on the field.

“I was devastated for 20 straight minutes. I ugly cried on my couch while the rest of my family was asleep because it was just that it was a trigger. I couldn’t do it. And it just kept giving flashbacks of what happened to my son on the football field,” she said. Full story here.

Julian Huffman, Geneseo Football player who was injured

Rochester native and former NFL player Roland Williams talks football risk, brotherhood: Even for those who play the game, and love the game, what happened to Damar Hamlin is profoundly painful. That’s certainly the case for Roland Williams, an NFL star whose career started right here in Rochester at East High School.

Williams was explosive on the field, a part of a powerful St. Louis Rams offense called “The Greatest Show on Turf.” It seemed little could stop him – until a career-ending injury. He spoke about his reaction to Hamlin’s injury.

“And I can only imagine as a teammate that you can not do anything to protect or fight for your teammate and that must have been terrifying and scary for every player there.” Full story here.

The three sons of NFL star Roland Williams, whose career ended with an injury, play football. (Provided photo)

Local deputy/coach recalls tragedy that led him to get CPR training that saved a life: One thing we’ve heard time and time again since Monday night is that the CPR Bills Safety Damar Hamlin received on the field in the moments after his collapse, is the reason he is still alive. 

In 2001, a local athlete tragically didn’t survive a similar on-field cardiac arrest but the situation changed his coach’s life forever, pushing him into a new career that ensures he’s trained and re-trained on CPR often. Full story here.

CPR and AED kit

Athletic trainers on football field to save Damar Hamlin trained in Avon: Many of the athletic trainers who ran onto the field to save Damar Hamlin’s life were trained in Avon. And it trained them for moments like the one they faced Monday night.

During the Bills game, Mike Cendoma was playing cards with his kids when his phone started going off. “It was just bling, bling, bling, bling…” he said. “And it was too much, an indication that something was going on.” Full story here.

CPR training

NFL world pours out love for Damar Hamlin: What happened to Damar Hamlin on Monday night isn’t central to just the Buffalo Bills or Cincinnati Bengals. It affects all of the National Football League.

“It’s tragic to see. I feel for Damar, most importantly,” said Brian Daboll, head coach of the New York Giants, former Bills offensive coordinator, and U of R graduate.

Around the country, NFL players have prayed for Damar. “It sent chills through my body when I was watching it. All I did was just sit there and pray for him, because that’s all you can do when you feel like you can’t help,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Full story here.

Sign outside Highmark Stadium on Jan. 3 shows support for Damar Hamlin. (Photo: Todd Hayes/WHEC)

Buffalo Bills will practice (noon): The Buffalo Bills announced that the team will be holding meetings and practice ahead of their game against the New England Patriots scheduled for Sunday. There will be no media availability for players or coaches.

The NFL said that Monday night’s game against the Bengals will not resume this week after it was suspended when Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during the game.

The kickoff against the Patriots is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Highmark Stadium.

Hamlin still in critical condition (5 a.m.): Hamlin is still in critical condition at the intensive care unit of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He is sedated and on a ventilator. Doctors have reportedly flipped him on his stomach to help take pressure off his lungs.

Damar’s uncle is asking you to continue to pray. He says those prayers could make a difference in Hamlin’s full recovery.

Dorrian Glenn says his nephew was resuscitated at the hospital on Monday. Glenn says the family is taking this one day at a time. Glenn says he is very thankful for the care the UCMC medical staff is giving his nephew.

“They want him to be able to, his body to be able to recover and allow himself to heal a lot more efficiently,” Glenn said. “So they sedated him, they got him on a ventilator so his lungs aren’t working as hard and just giving him a chance to just recover.”


News10NBC’s Raven Brown’s father, who is a former Patriots player, weighs in on Hamlin’s injury: We’re hearing from a former pro football player and coach, who has a very special tie to the News10NBC family.

News10NBC’s Raven Brown’s father, is a former linebacker for the New England Patriots and Raven spoke with him about his perspective on Damar Hamlin’s injury. “The first thought was ‘please let him be OK,’ Brown said. My heart went out to him and his family and the entire Bills organization.” Full story here.

Raven Brown and her father Vincent Brown

Niagra Falls lights up Blue: Niagara Falls was lit up on Tuesday night from 9 to 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday night to show support for Damar Hamlin. Buffalo City Hall was also lit in blue and in Cincinnati, the entire city was lit up in blue and red to show support for Damar.

Niagra Falls lights up blue

Damar Hamlin celebrated for achievements on and off the field: Damar Hamlin is a star on the field, but his work off the field reveals the man beneath the uniform.

He is committed to public service – so much so he formed a nonprofit foundation before he was even drafted by the NFL. So how did this 24-year-old become a man admired by many? Perhaps his childhood gives us some insight. He flourished in a little community outside Pittsburgh. And there was no cheerleader more enthusiastic than his mom, Nina. Full story here.

Damar Hamlin signs autographs for students from Rochester City School District. (Photo: RCSD)

University of Pittsburgh coach asks for prayer: The coach of University of Pittsburgh, the alma mater of Hamlin, asks for continued prayers for Hamlin.

NFL Teams change profile (3:10 p.m.): All 32 NFL teams just changed their profile pictures on Twitter to “Pray for Damar” in support of Damar Hamlin.

New profile picture for NFL teams (Courtesy of Buffalo Bills)

Community prays at Bills stadium for health of Hamlin (3 p.m.): Just think about what the Buffalo community has gone through this year. A mass shooting. Deadly storms. A fire that killed several children. And now this with the Buffalo Bills.

We went to Buffalo to talk to bills fans who made a pilgrimage to the stadium. There was a prayer circle with dozens of fans and Bills royalty like Jill Kelly and Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas. “Every day. We are strong. We stick together. It’s a great place to live,” said an Elba resident. Full story here.

Prayer for Hamlin at Highmark Stadium

Bills vs. Bengals game will not resume this week (1:30 p.m.): The NFL says the Bills vs. Bengals game will not resume this week because of the cardiac arrest that Damar Hamlin suffered. The NFL has made: “No decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date.”

You can see a full letter that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent to NFL Teams here.

Hamlin remains in intensive care (1:20 p.m.): Damar Hamlin remains in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to a Bills Tweet. He is in critical condition. The Bills thanked everyone for their support.

Hamlin’s family thanks hospital staff (1:45 p.m.): The family of Bills player Damar Hamlin also released a statement through the Twitter page of Jordon Rooney, who is Hamlin’s marketing representative and friend. The family thanked those who are caring for him, including the medical staff at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The statement was released on the Twitter page of Jordon Rooney, who is Hamlin’s marketing representative and friend.

The statement also says the family was moved by the prayers, donations, and kind words from across the country. “Please keep Damar in your prayers, we will release updates as soon as we have them,” said the statement.

Rochester Regional Health doctor speaks about Hamlin’s medical care:  Doctors are still working to determine what caused Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest.

News10NBC spoke with Dr. Scott Feitell, the Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Heart Failure at Rochester Regional Health, he credits the Bills medical staff for its swift response. As fans and teammates watched in horror, the Bills’ medical team jumped into action. It’s reported they started chest compressions immediately and were eventually able to get Hamlin’s pulse back. Full story here.

Dr. Scott Feitell, the Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Heart Failure at Rochester Regional Health

Fans reeling after Hamlin goes into cardiac arrest during game: Bills fans from Western New York made the trip to Cincinnati to cheer on their beloved team – but that excitement turned into shock after Damar Hamlin collapsed.

Fans of both teams watched as Hamlin was given CPR – and taken away by ambulance. Drew Nye from Rochester was in the stands and watched Damar Hamlin get revived on the field. Nye and his buddies were thrilled to attend the big game. They can’t believe what they witnessed – and they are still in shock. Full story here.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin is still in critical condition Tuesday morning after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during a Monday night game at the Cincinnati Bengals stadium. The NFL decided to suspend the game.

The cardiac arrest happened on the Bengals’ second drive of the first quarter. Hamlin had just tackled a Bengals wider receiver in what seemed to be a routine tackle. Hamlin got up from the tackle and then fell down.

The game then turned into a chilling scene for athletes and fans. Trainers from both teams began administering CPR, typically used when the heart stops beating or someone stops breathing, to Hamlin on the field for several minutes. Trainers used a defibrillator to shock Hamlin’s heart back into rhythm.

ESPN reported Hamlin received oxygen as he was placed in the ambulance. He was taken off the field around 16 minutes after he collapsed and then rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center which is nearby. The Bills reported that Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored and he is sedated.

Stunned Bills players could be seen crying and hugging. They kneeled in a circle on the field at Paycor Stadium to pray for their brother.

Hamlin’s teammate, wide receiver Stefon Diggs later, joined Hamlin at the hospital. About 100 Bills fans and a few Bengals fans gathered on a corner one block from the emergency room entrance, some of them holding candles.

Fans of the Bills and Bengals gathered outside the hospital to hold a vigil for the injured player. A show of support reverberated around the league, too. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Tampa Bay Quarterback Tom Brady, and others shared their thoughts and prayers on Twitter. Bills Hall-of-fame quarterback Jim Kelly Tweeted:

“Never before have I ever witnessed anything like this. The game doesn’t matter. Praying for Damar and his family.”

Bills mafia showed its support to the team through the night. Some turned out to the Buffalo airport for the team’s arrival.

It was a much quieter and different scene than usual at the airport. Usually, fans line up in big numbers and cheer on the team when they land. This time, it was different.

Police blocked parts of the airport and caution tape held off fans from getting any closer. We saw about 20 people looking on but other than the plane landing, you really couldn’t see much.

“Buffalo is always strong. Everyone is going through a lot of hurt, even going through last year with the shooting at the Tops and everything,” said Bills fan Zack Cash. “I think everyone is just trying to recover and this is making everything a lot harder.”

At the Exchange Sports Bar in Rochester, fans gathered to cheer on their beloved Bills – and watched, stunned, after Hamlin was hit. The look of shock on the players’ faces was reflected on their own.

“We were just like, ‘Oh! Oh my goodness! What just happened?’ Shocked and like, ‘Wow.’ Our hearts dropped to the floor, like, we couldn’t believe what just happened. We were just, like, wow,” Bills fan Leslie Pecora said.

“When you see a grown man cry. When you see Josh Allen, a 6’5″, 240 pound player, crying, with his team, the leader, it’s serious. So when you see that on national television, it really brings things and people down to earth to say, ‘Hey, you know, we just need a pause.’ We just need to thank God for our lives, pray for this man his family and hope he’s OK,” Bills fan Thomas Pecora said.

Hamlin is just 24 years old. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021. He played in 14 games during his rookie season this year. He took Micah Hyde’s spot after Hyde had an injury for the season.

Hamlin spent five years at college before that, playing at the University of Pittsburgh in his hometown. He was voted a team captain and picked to play in the senior bowl.

Bills fans and many others have donated a charity created by Hamlin, the Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive, as a sign of support. As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the charity had raised over $3 million.

The City of Cincinnati also lit up its buildings in blue to show support for Hamlin and the Bills, according to NBC affiliate WLWT.

The Bengals were leading, 7-3, at the time of the hit.

There have been some questions about the NFL’s response to Hamlin’s injury. Originally, on air, it was stated that after Hamlin was taken off the field there would be a 5 minute warm up before play would resume. Then, both coaches refused and decided to take their players off the field.

It took the NFL about one hour after Hamlin collapsed to officially suspend the game because league executives were gathering information and communicating with referee Shawn Smith, coaches from both teams and the NFL Players Association.

Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, said the NFL activated its Emergency Action Plan.

“It was fluid and things were changing by the minute,” Vincent said. “It was obvious on the phone that the emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation.”

Vincent refuted ESPN’s broadcast report that both teams were given a five-minute warmup period to resume playing.

“I’m not sure where that came from,” Vincent said. “It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. That’s not a place we should ever be in.”

Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy, said during a conference call shortly after midnight that a time frame for resuming the game was not being considered at the time.

“Our concern is for the player and his well-being. At the appropriate time, I’m sure that we’ll have a conversation around the next steps regarding the game,” Miller said.

You can watch the coverage on the Today show here: