Bills' Damar Hamlin faces 'lengthy recovery,' spokesman says

While Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has started making great strides in his recovery from cardiac arrest earlier this month, he still has a long way to go in his recovery, his family spokesman told ESPN on Thursday night.

In a statement, Hamlin's longtime friend and business partner, Jordon Rooney, said: "Despite being out of the hospital, Damar still has a lengthy recovery. Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly. He has visited with the team a few times but he still gets winded very easily.

"He's upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this."

Like members of Hamlin's family, Rooney has been at the defensive back's bedside both in hospitals and at Hamlin's home since the cardiac arrest occurred in a game against the Bengals on Jan. 2 in Cincinnati.

His statement came one day after Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters Hamlin had been at the team facility "almost daily," visiting his teammates and coaches Tuesday and Wednesday.

"It's limited, just overall," McDermott said of what Hamlin has been doing. "But he comes in and really just started really today or yesterday and just trying to get back to a little bit of a routine and just get himself acclimated again and taking it one step, one baby step at a time here."

Hamlin has not been participating in team meetings but is "dipping his toe back in here and, you know, getting on the road to just getting back to himself," McDermott said.

Hamlin did not attend the team's home win over the Miami Dolphins to start the playoffs, but he was watching remotely. The 24-year-old first visited the team Saturday at its walk-through before the game, with his parents, Mario and Nina, and his brother, Damir.

Earlier Thursday, Bengals receiver Tee Higgins said he hoped to see Hamlin at some point this weekend, when the Bengals visit the Bills for Sunday's AFC divisional round game. Higgins was being tackled by Hamlin on the play nearly three weeks ago when the Bills safety was injured.

"I'm pretty sure we're just going to chop it up, laughs and giggles and just be happy to see him," Higgins said.

Higgins was in communication with Hamlin's family in the days following the Week 17 game that was ultimately canceled following the injury. He said he hasn't yet spoken to Hamlin.

ESPN's Ben Baby and Alaina Getzenberg contributed to this report.