© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Jan 2, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Buffalo Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (49) and cornerback Cam Lewis (39) and cornerback Siran Neal (33) react to the life threatening injury sustained by safety Damar Hamlin (not pictured) during the fi
(Reuters) -Damar Hamlin showed “remarkable improvement” over the past 24 hours but remains critically ill, the Buffalo Bills said on Thursday, after the safety suffered cardiac arrest on the field during a Monday night NFL game in Cincinnati.
“Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the Bills said on their official Twitter account. “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,” the team said.
During the first quarter of the Bills’ penultimate regular season game against the Bengals, Hamlin got to his feet after making a tackle and then collapsed.
After having his heartbeat restored on the field, Hamlin was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he has remained in the intensive care unit.
The game, which Cincinnati led 7-3, was later postponed.
The positive update will be welcome news for the Bills, as they prepare for their final regular season contest on Sunday, as well as for sports fans across the United States and around the world who have rallied behind the 24-year-old safety.
The Bills said they were practicing on Thursday and planned to make select players and head coach Sean McDermott available to speak with members of the media at 4:30 p.m. ET (2130 GMT).
Fans, athletes, celebrities and politicians, including U.S. President Joe Biden, have all offered Hamlin their prayers and support.
“Great news,” Biden tweeted in response to Hamlin’s medical update on Thursday. “Damar, like I told your mom and dad yesterday, Jill and I – along with all of America – are praying for you and your family.”
Famed Niagara Falls – both the American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls – were illuminated in Bills blue on Tuesday as a show of support for Hamlin, the team and the nearby city of Buffalo.
The NFL has not yet made decision on whether to complete the Bills and Bengals game.
The postponed game would have playoff implications for both the Bills and Bengals, who are battling with the Kansas City Chiefs for the top seed in the American Football Conference, which comes with a first-round playoff bye.
The Bills are scheduled to host the New England Patriots at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) on Sunday.