Earlier this week, NFL Players Association Medical Director Thom Mayer made some pretty surprising comments when he boldly declared that he can “guarantee” that Damar Hamlin will play football again even after suffering a scary injury that left him in immediate need CPR on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. But that might not necessarily be true.
According to a report from league insider Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Damar Hamlin has not made a decision on whether or not he will return to the field.
In the wake of last night's heartwarming scene featuring Damar Hamlin, will he play football again? It's worth noting he has still not yet been fully cleared and is only focusing on his health right now. pic.twitter.com/oaH6riSbsE
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 10, 2023
“It’s on the radar, but it has not happened yet,” Rapoport said. “A decision certainly has not been made. It was interesting to hear the comments from Tom Ayer, the NFLPA doctor on the radio yesterday, I believe, saying Damar Hamlin will play football again. Certainly, that was news to Damar Hamlin and De Smith has since walked that back.”
Rapoport revealed that Hamlin has not yet been cleared to return by the Buffalo Bills, which is obviously a crucial step.
“My understanding of the situation is Hamlin has still not yet been cleared by the Bills,” Rapoport said. “The most important thing for him is his health and making it all back. The football future is certainly something we’ll be discussing over the next couple of months or longer. Now that we all know Damar Hamlin is going to be okay, is he going to play football is the next question. It sounds like just does not know. And getting cleared totally, 100 percent would be a massive step for him in that direction. It just has not happened just yet.”
It’s clear that Hamlin will not rush into whatever decision he makes.