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Bills safety Damar Hamlin 'scheduled to play' in Saturday's preseason game against Colts

Bills safety Damar Hamlin will see his first true game action on Saturday since suffering a cardiac arrest in Buffalo's game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2.

After initially saying Thursday that he's taking the decision of when to play Hamlin a "day at a time," head coach Sean McDermott later confirmed the third-year defender's status to The Associated Press, telling the publication Hamlin is "scheduled to play" Saturday versus the Colts.

"This is to some extent uncharted territory for me as well, and all of us," McDermott said, per The AP. "So we're just trying to do the best we can to be there for him. I try to keep a close eye on where he is and where he's showing up and how he's responding. And he's done a great job."

Hamlin's recovery and attempt at a full comeback has been the story to follow ever since that January contest saw him suffer commotio cordis, which causes cardiac arrest after a blunt impact to the chest at a precise point during the heart rhythm disrupts the heartbeat.

Hamlin's cardiac arrest followed a collision with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. He received CPR on the field and was then rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center by ambulance, where he was deemed to be in critical condition. Hamlin spent nearly a week at the Cincinnati-area hospital before recovering enough to fly to Buffalo for more treatment. He was discharged on Jan. 11 and continued his rehabilitation from home.

Since then, Hamlin has hit every milestone needed to return to competition. He was cleared to resume football activities in April, participated in team drills for the first time during organized team activities in June and has been full go in training camp.

Now, the next gargantuan hurdle awaits Hamlin -- suiting up and making contact in an NFL game.

It's sure to be a mental obstacle as much as it is a physical test. For his part, he has been cautious to let his mind wander too far ahead.

"Trying to look forward, it just creates a lot of anxiety, a lot of unnecessary feelings," Hamlin said last weekend. "If you stay in the moment, it allows you to process it when you're there."

However the moment transpires, and regardless of the game's outcome between Buffalo and Indianapolis, Hamlin's miraculous journey back is likely to be the lasting highlight for the safety, his teammates and all who tune in.

"Man, sometimes it's like normal don't exist," Hamlin said. "But it's a super-blessed space. To be able to do what I love again. That's kind of the normal thing."

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