Damar Hamlin reportedly is about to make his first appearance in an NFL regular season game since he suffered cardiac arrest on the field last season when the Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
With the #Bills ruling out S Jordan Poyer, the expectation is that Damar Hamlin makes his season debut vs the #Dolphins, sources say.
This spring, Hamlin told reporters, “My heart is still in the game. I love the game.”
On Sunday, he’s set to be back doing it. pic.twitter.com/5LzNm5EeXz
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 29, 2023
The 25-year-old has been inactive for the Bills’ first three games but could enter the lineup in place of safety Jordan Poyer, who was ruled out on Friday with a knee injury.
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after making a tackle in a game at the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. His heartbeat was restored by CPR on the field, and he was taken off in an ambulance. The game was suspended at that point and later was cancelled with no result.
The University of Pittsburgh product was cleared to resume football activities in April and appeared in all three of Buffalo’s preseason games this summer. He started 13 of the 15 games he played in last season and had 63 solo tackles, six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
His return to action will undoubtedly add a great deal of emotion to the scene at Highmark Stadium, which was already expected to be at fever pitch for an early-season AFC East showdown.
Miami has been the talk of the NFL after starting the season 3-0 and scoring 70 points last week in a win against the Denver Broncos. In the second season under the offensive system of head coach Mike McDaniel, the Dolphins are averaging 550.3 yards per game.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has thrown for 1,024 passing yards and eight touchdowns, and wide receiver Tyreek Hill is well on his way to reaching his stated goal of a 2,000-yard season with 412 receiving yards on 25 catches. Receiver Jaylen Waddle should return this week after sitting out against the Broncos while in NFL concussion protocol.
The Dolphins offense will present a difficult challenge to the Bills defense, especially without a starting Pro Bowl safety like Poyer. Hamlin could be counted on to make a difference in his encouraging return to action.