Safety Damar Hamlin won't play in the Bills' opener against the Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Damar Hamlin was listed among Buffalo's inactives, so he will not play in a regular-season game for the first time since going into cardiac arrest when the Bills open the season against the New York Jets on Monday night.

The Bills made the decision official about 90 minutes before kickoff when the teams announced their inactive players for the game.

Hamlin, a safety who had to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati in January, played in three exhibition games this summer. He made the Bills’ roster as a backup after many doubted he would be able to take the field again.

Listed as the fourth safety on Buffalo’s depth chart, Hamlin is expected to be limited to mostly special teams roles barring injuries to starters Jordan Poyer or Micah Hyde.

Hamlin, 25, was starting in place of an injured Hyde against the Bengals on Jan. 2 when his heart stopped as a result of commotio cordis, which is when a direct blow at a specific point in a heartbeat causes cardiac arrest. Doctors have assured Hamlin he can resume playing without any fear of setbacks or complications.

Also listed with Hamlin as Bills players who won't play are cornerback Kaiir Elam, defensive end Kingsley Jonathan and offensive tackles German Ifedi and Alec Anderson. Elam was the Bills' first-round pick in 2022 and lost his job to Christian Benford.

For the Jets, defensive end Carl Lawson was a notable inactive. Lawson missed a few weeks during training camp while dealing with a back ailment.

Also inactive for the Jets are wide receivers Jason Brownlee and Irvin Charles, running back Israel Abanikanda, offensive lineman Max Mitchell and linebacker Zaire Barnes.


AP Sports Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.