Has Damar Hamlin’s NFL career come to an end? Not if he has anything to say about it.

The Buffalo Bills safety announced Tuesday that he plans to make an NFL comeback just hours after his team said he’d been cleared to play.

“I’ve been beating statistics my whole life, so I like my chances here,” Hamlin said during his press conference at a Bills facility in Orchard Park, New York, according to NFL.com.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin speaks to reporters at the NFL football team’s facility in Orchard Park, N.Y., Tuesday, April 18, 2023, saying he plans to resume his football career after being cleared to play more than four months after going into cardiac arrest and needing to be resuscitated on the field during a game at Cincinnati. | John Wawrow, Associated Press

Before Tuesday, the future of Hamlin’s NFL career had been in question, as the 25-year-old continued to recover from the major medical emergency he experienced during a Jan. 2 prime-time game.

Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field after being involved in a tackle and ultimately spent several days in the hospital regaining strength.

The NFL community rallied around Hamlin after his injury, donning special warmup shirts and jersey patches and sending support to him during on-field prayers.

“ESPN even flipped the “E” on its crew’s microphones so that it looked like a “3” — Hamlin’s jersey number — instead,” as the Deseret News reported on Jan. 8.

A video board at Levi’s Stadium shows a message for Damar Hamlin on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.
A video board at Levi’s Stadium shows a message for Damar Hamlin during an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. | Jed Jacobsohn, Associated Press

After he was released from the hospital, Hamlin became a fixture at the Bills facility, cheering on his teammates during their ultimately unsuccessful playoff run.

He’s also appeared at numerous award shows and rallies to speak about the importance of protecting athletes’ heart health.

“Sudden cardiac arrest happens to more than 7,000 kids under the age of 18 every year in our country — 7,000 kids every year,” Hamlin said during a press conference last month in support of an “Access to AEDs” bill, as the Deseret News reported at the time.

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Hamlin once again emphasized the need to bring awareness to issues like CPR training during his Tuesday remarks. He said “he views his NFL comeback as another way he can help motivate himself and others to overcome their circumstances,” NFL.com reported.

He added that he wants to show people that you don’t have to succumb to your fears.

“Fear is a choice. You can keep going in something without having the answers and without knowing what’s at the end of the tunnel. Or you might feel anxious, you might feel any type of way, but you keep putting that right foot in front of the left one and you keep going. I want to stand for that,” he said.

In his own remarks Tuesday, Bills general manager Brandon Beane confirmed that multiple medical experts have signed off on Hamlin’s plan to play.

“Beane said that Hamlin has visited with a variety of specialists since returning from Cincinnati and that they have all been in agreement on his case and on his being able to fully return to playing football,” ESPN reported.