BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Following the news that Bills safety Damar Hamlin was released from the ICU in Cincinnati and traveled back to Buffalo to continue treatment, the Bills are breathing a sigh of relief as the playoffs draw closer.
Hamlin was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to Buffalo General Medical Center to continue his treatment on Monday.
“I’m super excited that he’s back in Buffalo and what a job the team of docs and the medical team did out in Cincinnati. And now he’s in great care here in Buffalo. We’re happy to have him back,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said Monday.
Health officials said that Hamlin was downgraded to stable condition after being in the ICU for the entire week following his injury last Monday. McDermott said that he and general manager Brandon Beane were able to visit him in the hospital.
“He’s just very tired but he seems happy and happy to be back in Buffalo and around a familiar area to him. I know he’s taking it just one one step at a time here,” McDermott said.
“Makes you feel real good to know that he’s back in Buffalo and just continuously improving every single day,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “I think for all of us as a staff, it was a big sigh of relief.”
Throughout the week, Hamlin had been able to see the team virtually on Zoom and FaceTime. That included following Sunday’s win, where he broke the team down in the locker room and was given the game ball.
“It’s inspirational, it lifts us all up. I think for our players it was such a relief for them to witness him on Zoom giving the hand signals, shouting out words. Everyone was more relaxed, guys were talking more,” Frazier said.
Hamlin’s progress, which medical officials said has gone quicker than expected, is expected to allow the team to put a little bit more focus on football heading into the team’s first playoff game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
“It’s clear that he continues to move and take steps in a positive direction here. Even though I’m not physically with him right now, we’re not physically with him, it’s like anything else, when you have your family close by, it just feels right,” McDermott said. “He still obviously has some things to go through with the medical team and the care that he’s under, and we have to handle our business here as well. He would want us to do that as he has expressed before, so each of us has a job to do.”
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.