ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Damar Hamlin was activated for the Bills game against the Dolphins and the safety could make his regular season debut Sunday at Highmark Stadium.
Hamlin appeared in all three preseason games for Buffalo, returning to action after going into cardiac arrest during a game in January. But the third-year player has been inactive through the first three regular season weeks.
A game day lineup spot opened for Hamlin when safety Jordan Poyer was ruled out with a knee injury. Taylor Rapp is expected to start in Poyer’s place, while Hamlin is listed behind Rapp and Cam Lewis at safety on Buffalo’s depth chart. Hamlin also could contribute on special teams.
Along with Poyer, the Bills inactive players on Sunday are: offensive linemen Germain Ifedi and Alec Anderson, defensive tackle Poona Ford, and cornerback Kaiir Elam, the Bills’ first-round draft pick last year who has not been active on game day yet this season.
Appearing in a regular-season game would mark the final step in Hamlin’s bid to resume his playing career and what’s been described as the 25-year-old’s remarkable recovery after going into cardiac arrest and needing to be resuscitated on the field during a game at Cincinnati on Jan. 2.
Since being cleared to resume playing in April, the backup safety has showed no signs of tentativeness in passing every on-field test he’s faced in making the Bills 53-player roster last month. The third-year player combined for nine tackles in appearing in all three of Buffalo’s preseason games in August.
Hamlin was hurt while making what appeared to be a routine tackle, when his heart stopped from a direct blow at a specific point in the heartbeat that can cause cardiac arrest. Doctors have assured Hamlin he could resume playing without setbacks or complications.
Hamlin was starting in place of Hyde, who was sidelined by a season-ending neck injury sustained in Week 2.
The outing on Sunday is regarded as an early season showdown between AFC East rivals Miami (3-0) and Buffalo (2-1).