Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin triumphantly left an Ohio hospital Monday, a week after he collapsed on the field during a nationally televised game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Mr. Hamlin has been released and returned to Buffalo. I traveled with him to the airport this morning with our UC Health air care and mobile care crew, including teammates who were with us on the field when Mr. Hamlin collapsed," said Dr. William Knight IV, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and director of the Emergency Medicine MLP Program.
Hamlin has been the target of unwavering support of football fans since his cardiac arrest in the first quarter of last week's "Monday Night Football" game at Paycor Stadium.
Hamlin, a 24-year-old in his second NFL season, made what appeared to be a routine tackle of Bengals receiver Tee Higgins before he seemed to go limp and fell backward.
On-field medical staff rushed to Hamlin and administered CPR before he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where the player had been treated until his departure Monday.
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That game in Cincinnati was postponed and ultimately canceled, leaving the Bills and Bengals — both considered leading Super Bowl contenders — with 16-game résumés instead of the 17 all other NFL teams have on their records.
The Bills, who beat the New England Patriots in an emotion-filled game in Orchard Park, New York, on Sunday, finished 13-3, a half-game behind the Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) for the AFC's No. 1 seed.
Had the Bills won that game in Cincinnati and finished with an equal 14-3 record, Buffalo would have had the playoff's top spot and a first-round bye. Instead, the Bills ended with the No. 2 seed and will host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in a wild-card round.
Under normal circumstances, if the Nos. 1 and 2 teams meet in the conference title game, the top seed would get to host. But given the unprecedented turn of events in Cincinnati last week, NFL owners agreed that a potential Kansas City-Buffalo AFC title game should be held at a neutral site and not at Arrowhead Stadium, long considered one of the most hostile home fields in football.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.