Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has returned home to Buffalo after a nearly week-long stay at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed during last week's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

During a Monday news conference, doctors said Hamlin was discharged from the hospital earlier in the day and flown to Buffalo, where he is said to be "doing well" and in "the beginning of the next stage of his recovery."

Doctors say they are still unsure what caused his collapse during the Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals a week ago.

"We continue to be ecstatic about his recovery," Dr. William Knight told reporters on Monday.

"We anticipate that he will undergo an ongoing series of tests and evaluations to determine the etiology of what caused the incident and to treat and pathology that may be found," he added.

Doctors said Hamlin has been walking since Friday, and has also been eating regular food and undergoing therapy. They said he was on what medical professionals say is a "very normal" or even "accelerated trajectory" in his recovery from cardiac arrest — which is considered a life-threatening event.

"The goal for every patient who suffered a serious illness or injury is to help them return as close to baseline as possible," Knight said.

"We anticipate that he would have likely ongoing needs — whether it is therapy or working with different specialists — to get him as close to where he really can be," he added.

Knight told reporters he traveled with Hamlin to the airport, where he boarded a flight back to Buffalo. Currently, Hamlin is in a hospital there.

In a series of tweets following the news conference, Hamlin gave an update of his own, praising his medical team in Cincinnati.

"Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart. Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling. The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world [and] more. Bigger than football!" Hamlin tweeted.

Hamlin's heart stopped beating following what seemed like a routine tackle during the Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. First responders resuscitated him by performing CPR and using a defibrillator.

UCMC physicians praised the first responders' quick actions as life-saving.

The NFL said it will not reschedule the Bills-Bengals game, which was stopped in the first quarter after Hamlin collapsed.

In a news release Thursday, the league said that the game cancellation will have "no effect" on which clubs will qualify for the postseason.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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