Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after he collapsed on the field Monday night, the NFL said in a tweet. Following the incident, the game between Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals was postponed indefinitely.
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2023
Hamlin was administered CPR on the field, AP reported citing ESPN. Images show Hamlin surrounded by teammates, some of them in tears. AP reported that he was hurt while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on a play that didn’t appear unusually violent.
Hamlin was hit in the chest after Higgins led with his right shoulder. Hamlin was then seen wrapping his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down. Hamlin got to his feet, tried to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backward and lay motionless.
On field paramedics team gave emergency treatment to Hamlin and later he was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Teammate Stefon Diggs later joined Hamlin at the hospital.
The NFL announced more than an hour after the injury that players would not return to the field Monday night. A few hours later, Jeff Miller, an NFL executive vice president, told reporters that the league had no plans at present to resume the game, adding that Hamlin’s health was the NFL’s main focus, reported AP.
An ambulance arrived on the field four minutes after Hamlin collapsed, with many players in tears. The quarterbacks — Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow — embraced.
“Please pray for our brother,” Allen tweeted.
Please pray for our brother.
— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) January 3, 2023
“I’ve never seen anything like it since I was playing. Immediately, my player hat went on, like, how do you resume playing after seeing a traumatic event in front of you?” AP quoted an NFL executive, Troy Vincent, as saying.
According to AP, ESPN reported on its telecast that Hamlin was also given oxygen through CPR.
“It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play,” Vincent said. “That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. That’s not a place we should ever be in.”
As for the game, the Bengals led 7-3 in the first quarter of a game between teams vying for the top playoff seed in the AFC. Cincinnati entered at 11-4 and leading the AFC North by one game over Baltimore, while AFC East champion Buffalo was 12-3.
“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin,” the players’ union said in a statement. “We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well-being.”
In a tweet, NFL said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Damar, his family and the Buffalo Bills.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Damar, his family and the Buffalo Bills ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/A03jGU4J9S
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2023