Hamlin, still critical, continues recovery, tweets thanks

Jan 6, 2023, 9:44 PM | Updated: Jan 7, 2023, 7:17 pm
Fans display a sign honoring injured Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin before an NFL football game ...

Fans display a sign honoring injured Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin before an NFL football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

              Fans display a sign honoring injured Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin before an NFL football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
            
              A message isdisplay on the jumbotron paying tribute to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin prior to an NHL hockey game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Minnesota Wild, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              A banner signed by fans in support of Pittsburgh Pitt football player Damar Hamlin hangs in the Peterson Event Center during an NCAA college basketball game between Pittsburgh and Clemson in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. Clemson won 75-74.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Balloons and a Buffalo Bills flag sit on a fence outside UC Medical Center, where Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains hospitalized, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Cincinnati. Damar Hamlin has shown what physicians treating him are calling "remarkable improvement over the last 24 hours," the team announced on Thursday, three days after the player went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)
            
              An artist's portrait of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is displayed outside UC Medical Center, where Hamlin remains hospitalized, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Cincinnati. Hamlin has shown what physicians treating him are calling "remarkable improvement over the last 24 hours," the team announced on Thursday, three days after the player went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)
            
              A projection showing support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is seen on Michael and Shauna Karas' house Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Lancaster, N.Y. Hamlin is now breathing and walking on his own, and traded in the writing pad he had been using to communicate. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
            
              Kayla Adeniji, center, wife of Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji, tapes up a sign she made in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin outside UC Medical Center, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Cincinnati. Hamlin, who remains hospitalized at the center, has shown what physicians treating him are calling "remarkable improvement over the last 24 hours," the team announced on Thursday, three days after the player went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Doctors described Damar Hamlin’s neurological function as “excellent” Saturday, as the Buffalo Bills safety continued making progress in his recovery after having to be resuscitated on the field in a game at Cincinnati on Monday.

In providing their daily update on Hamlin, the Bills said the player continues to breathe on his own but remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin took a major step forward in his recovery on Friday when he was taken off a ventilator and showed an ability to speak.

There was a tweet on the 24-year-old’s verified Twitter account Saturday evening saying that any love put into the world comes back three times as much and thanking all who have “reached out and prayed.” It also said that the response to his injury will make Hamlin stronger. The tweet was followed by a heart-shaped emoji and “3.”

The tweet read: “Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much… thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed. This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me!”

The NFL also will show support for Hamlin during all Week 18 games, which start Saturday afternoon, including a pregame moment of support, painting Hamlin’s No. 3 on the 30-yard line and pregame shirts with “Love for Damar 3.” The Bills will also wear “3” jersey patches.

A couple hours after the first, there was another tweet that said, “The love is felt, & extremely real. No matter race or religion everybody coming together in prayer!”

The NFL also will show support for Hamlin during all Week 18 games, which start Saturday afternoon, including a pregame moment of support, painting Hamlin’s No. 3 on the 30-yard line and pregame shirts with “Love for Damar 3.” The Bills will also wear “3” jersey patches.

Hamlin also made a brief live videoconference appearance Friday for his teammates, making several hand signs and saying, “Love you boys.”

Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and his heart stopped on Monday night after making what appeared to be a routine tackle in the first quarter against the Bengals. The game was initially suspended before officially being canceled later in the week.

The Bills are planning to pay tribute to Hamlin and the first-responders and medical staff who treated the player when they close the season Sunday by hosting the New England Patriots.

On Saturday, the Steelers paid tribute to Hamlin, who is from the Pittsburgh area, by delivering toys, books and teaching supplies to Kelly & Nina’s Daycare, where the player hosts an annual toy drive. Fans, players and team owners have also made donations to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation, which has raised just more than $8.2 million by Saturday afternoon.

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Hamlin, still critical, continues recovery, tweets thanks