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Damar Hamlin breathing on his own, FaceTimes into team meeting, Bills say

Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin, seen here in Dec. 2022, was in critical condition early Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, after the Bills say his heart stopped following a tackle during a Monday Night Football game. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper, File)

The breathing tube for Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin has been removed, and he is able to speak to his family and medical team, the Bills announced Friday. 

The Bills tweeted that physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Hamlin has been since he collapsed during Monday night’s game against the Bengals, said his tube was removed overnight. 

The team said he is continuing to “progress remarkably” and his neurologic function remains intact. 

The Bills also tweeted that Hamlin FaceTimed in during a team meeting on Friday to talk with the players and coaches. 

“Love you boys,” he reportedly said. 

Hamlin fell to the ground during the first quarter of the Monday Night Football game after tackling a Bengals player. He initially got up after the tackle but moments later collapsed. 

He needed to be resuscitated on the field and was later taken in an ambulance to the hospital after experiencing cardiac arrest. 

The NFL initially postponed the game following the incident and announced on Friday that it would be canceled. It has proposed plans to adjust for how the game’s cancellation could potentially affect playoff positioning. 

Players on both teams were visibly shaken after Hamlin received CPR. 

Hamlin’s fundraiser that he created to support a toy drive for his community has raised almost $8 million since the game Monday, far surpassing its $2,500 goal. The description on its GoFundMe page notes that the fundraiser received renewed support in light of Hamlin’s “current battle.”

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