NFL Players Association Medical Director Thom Mayer personally guaranteed that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin "will play professional football again."
"I don’t want to get into HIPAA issues, but I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again,” Mayer said Wednesday (February 8) via ProFootballTalk.
Mayer's comment came shortly after Hamlin won the 2023 Alan Page Community Award and a month after he suffered cardiac arrest during a since-cancelled Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2.
"You’ve inspired so many @HamlinIsland—this ones for you. The 2023 Alan Page Community Award Winner," the NFLPA tweeted, along with several photos of Hamlin receiving the award.
The 24-year-old tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of the January 2 game and got back to his feet before suddenly falling to the ground. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.
Hamlin was hospitalized at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and initially reported to be in critical condition before making a miraculous recovery, which coincided with an outpouring of support from players, coaches and fans. A GoFundMe page initially launched by Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation to support a toy drive prior to his medical situation -- and later to support his recovery after far exceeding its $2,500 goal -- raised more than $9 million.
The Pittsburgh native was released from UC Medical Center one week after suffering cardiac arrest and discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute after completing a series of tests and evaluations two days later.
Hamlin was in attendance for the Bills' Divisional Round Playoff loss to the Bengals last month and reported to be with the team "almost daily" amid his ongoing recovery, according to head coach Sean McDermott.