Damar Hamlin breathing on his own: Buffalo Bills

US National Football League star Damar Hamlin has had his breathing tube removed and is able to talk, his team said on Friday.

The Buffalo Bills player also joined a meeting with his team via Facetime and said: "Love you boys."

Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during Monday night's primetime game in Ohio, causing an outpouring of grief from fans.

He is now able to breathe on his own and "continues to progress remarkably".

The Bills cited his doctors in a tweet saying Hamlin's neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team.

The news comes after physicians treating Hamlin said on Thursday he had woken up and asked doctors if his team had won the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The doctor responded: "Damar, you won - you won the game of life."

He had been communicating with doctors by writing after waking up.

He has been in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was on a ventilator to help his breathing.

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin
Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin

Hamlin's doctors have said his lungs have continued to heal and the NFL star has made "steady progress", according to updates from his team.

"We are grateful for the love and support we have received," the Bills said.

Shortly before Hamlin's team issued the latest statement on Thursday, his teammate Kaiir Elam wrote in a tweet: "Our boy is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement."

"Keep the prayers coming please," he added.

His agent, Ron Butler, confirmed to CNN that Hamlin was awake and had been holding hands with his family in the hospital.

Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest during the primetime game after tackling Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. He fell on his back to the ground after the collision.

He received more than 30 minutes of on-the-field medical care, during which he was resuscitated once, according to the player's friend and marketing agent Jordon Rooney.

Support for the second-year Bills player has poured in since the accident.

A GoFundMe page for a toy drive launched by Hamlin has amassed more than $7m (£5.9m).

Several NFL players have donated to the cause, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.

Hamlin was drafted to the NFL in 2021 from the University of Pittsburgh, where he played college football.

The NFL has cancelled the Bills' game against the Bengals in the wake of the incident.