Damar Hamlin’s Return to Football Looks Almost Normal

Last week, the Bills posted a video of several players and staff members receiving training in CPR and the use of defibrillators ahead of Hamlin’s return to the field.

The team’s contact drills are scheduled to begin next week, when Bills players are slated for three practices. Though General Manager Brandon Beane said Hamlin had been “fully cleared” for football activities, Hyde acknowledged that players can experience an initial reluctance to return to the violent collisions that are inherent to the game.

Hyde injured his neck last season during Week 2, and underwent spinal surgery to remove a herniated disc and fuse two vertebrae together. He returned to practice on Jan. 12, just days after Hamlin’s near-death experience.

Hyde said anytime a player comes back from an injury, “There’s a little mental block to get out there and go play fast. It’s such a violent game.”

He dealt with it by mentally preparing for his comeback, telling himself, “I’m ready to go, I’m ready, I’m ready to hit, I’m ready to tackle, I’m ready to do whatever.”

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