Can we really trust the NFL when it comes to Damar Hamlin?

Can we really trust the NFL when it comes to Damar Hamlin?

The NFL has done very little to earn the benefit of the doubt from the public. Dan Snyder still owns the Washington Commanders, the league settled a lawsuit for $765 million that alleged it hid data on the dangers of concussions, and Deshaun Watson received a fully guaranteed $250 million contract in which the payout was structured so that he could avoid losing a big chunk of it due to an inevitable league-issued punishment. So a person receiving an alert that Damar Hamlin is cleared to play football after watching him almost die on the field three months ago might not be willing to trust what they just read.

Hamlin announced during the Buffalo Bills’ Tuesday media availability that he is returning to the NFL. He also revealed that what caused him to collapse on Jan. 2, was commotio cordis. It is a rare instance that has resulted in the death of 330 young athletes since 1980, according to a review in the JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology. The instance is most common in young males 19 or younger due to their chest not being fully developed.

What usually happens is a person takes a direct blow to the chest from a small, blunt object like a baseball or a hockey puck. A blow that results in an impact that is neither extremely soft nor hard. If the impact happens in a time window that is 7.5 times shorter than the blink of an eye, the heart can stop.

Hamlin said during the press conference that all of the doctors that he saw are in consensus that commotio cordis is what caused his collapse during that game. In his own words, this is not like what happened to Reggie Lewis.

Another Reggie Lewis situation?

The late Boston Celtics’ All-Star collapsed during a 1993 playoff game. On Apr. 29, it will be 30 years since that day. He got up and tried to play, but he was too woozy to continue. The Celtics assembled a “dream team” of doctors that diagnosed Lewis with a heart arrhythmia that was potentially fatal.

Lewis then sought his own medical counsel and eventually found a doctor who told him that he could one day play basketball again. In July 1993, while shooting baskets at the Celtics’ practice facility Lewis collapsed again and died.

Everything with Hamlin appears to be on the up and up. Bills’ General Manager Brandon Beane spoke to the media before Hamlin. Beane said that every specialist that Hamlin has seen agrees that he is healthy enough to play.

Also, it has been reported in the past that one of Roger Goodell’s greatest fears is of a player dying on the field. From the information that is available, Damar Hamlin’s heart is sturdy enough to play NFL football.

Again though, this is the league that told us Tua Tagovailoa did not suffer a head injury when he was struggling to regain his balance during the Miami Dolphins’ Week 3 matchup against the Bills. He left the field in the second quarter and returned after halftime. Four days later, during the Dolphins’ next game, he suffered another blow to the head and his fingers froze in a fencing response.

We should be able to trust what we are being told about Hamlin. The problem, however, is that the message is being delivered through a microphone with an NFL logo on it.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.