A scary and emotional scene unfolded early during Monday night’s game between the Bills and Bengals. With 5:58 remaining in the first quarter, Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after rising to his feet following a tackle of Bengals wide receivers Tee Higgins. After making the tackle, Hamlin stood up only to suddenly fall to the ground. He received immediate medical attention on the field and was transported to the UC Medical Center in Cincinnati.
Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest following the hit with his heartbeat restored on the field, the Bills announced in a statement early Tuesday morning. The team further divulged that Hamlin is “sedated and listed in critical condition.”
“Monday Night Football” between Buffalo and Cincinnati was officially postponed by the NFL shortly after 10 p.m. ET. The league released the following statement:
Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced.
Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.
Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.
Hamlin received CPR on the field for several minutes while being placed on a stretcher and eventually into an ambulance. He was given oxygen upon entering the ambulance, which transported him and some family members to the hospital.
The game was temporarily suspended after coaches Sean McDermott of the Bills and Zac Taylor of the Bengals spoke on the field. About an hour later, the NFL decided to postpone the game. It chose not to address a potential rescheduling of the game in a media call late Monday night. That decision will ultimately rest in the hands of commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Bills decided to fly back to Buffalo early Tuesday morning. Numerous members of the Bills and Bengals visited the hospital late Monday night.
Around 11:30 p.m. ET, Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, provided a statement to NFL Media: “Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no update at this time. Will ask that you keep the family in your prayers.”
Hamlin is in the middle of his second season with the Bills. He earned a spot in Buffalo’s starting lineup this season after appearing in 14 games as a rookie. Hamlin played collegiately at Pittsburgh, where he tallied 276 tackles and six interceptions.
Hamlin’s character and work ethic led to him making the Bills’ 53-man roster as a rookie despite being a Day 3 draft pick. That same work ethic helped him become a starter this season.
“Damar’s done a great job,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said of Hamlin during his rookie training camp. “He’s a very instinctive player. … He’s a great kid, he wants it, he’s working hard and he’s giving himself every chance to put himself in the mix despite being a sixth-round pick.”
Please share this video. It’s been going around. This is Damar Hamlin and his toy drive charity. His gofundme has raised over $700,000 tonight. 🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/zzSQkGpbYQ— JR_1997🏒🥃 (@jacobrotenberg) January 3, 2023
Hamlin’s injury has led to an outpouring of emotion and support throughout the sports world. Every NFL team has offered their thoughts via social media. Scores of players have also voiced their support for Hamlin and his Buffalo teammates.