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Bills“ Hamlin off breathing tube, speaks to teammates

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Jan 2, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; The Buffalo Bills gather as an ambulance parks on the field while CPR is administered to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin (3) after a play in the first quarter of the NFL Week 17 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills at Paycor Stadium in Downtown Cincinnati. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight and the 24-year-old safety is progressing “remarkably,” his team said on Friday, citing an update from his physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

“His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team,” the NFL team said.

The Bills also said on social media that Hamlin FaceTimed into their team meeting on Friday to talk with players and coaches: “What he said to the team: ‘Love you boys.'”

Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle in the first quarter of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, suffering cardiac arrest, and had to have his heartbeat restored on the field in a scene that stunned fellow players, coaches and millions of fans.

Physicians on Thursday said Hamlin was “demonstrating signs of good neurological recovery” but that it was too soon to comment on his long-term medical prognosis.

The frightening incident prompted a massive outpouring of support from fans and the football community. Donations to an online toy drive fundraiser Hamlin launched in December 2020 skyrocketed in response, raising more than $7.8 million as of Friday.

The National Football League on Thursday said it would not resume the game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, with both teams poised to make an impact in the playoffs. The Bills are set to play the New England Patriots as the regular season concludes on Sunday.

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