The frightening, disturbing, and emotional scene played out on national television as Hamlin received CPR before getting boarded onto an ambulance, which drove out to midfield to give him the most immediate care.
After he was taken to a nearby hospital, the NFL decided to suspend the game, and the teams’ coaches sent both teams to the locker room to allow emotional players to collect themselves.
In less than an hour, the game was then postponed for at least the rest of the night. Shortly after midnight, the NFL held a conference call with members of the media, but they declined to provide any update on when or if the game will resume.
The NFL released the following statement upon the game being postponed: “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.”
The players’ union said the following in a statement: “The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. 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.”
Hamlin, 24, received care near midfield for the better part of 20 minutes before he was loaded into an ambulance. He was receiving oxygen when he was placed into the emergency vehicle.
The gravity of the situation was immediately clear to Bills teammates after Hamlin went to the ground. He had just tackled Tee Higgins, got to his feet, and immediately collapsed.
Bills players were shown on ESPN weeping over their concern over Hamlin’s condition.
A spokesman for UC Health in Cincinnati — where Hamlin was admitted — told on-site reporters that the hospital does not expect to make any updates tonight (January 2).
“Please pray for our brother,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted in the 11 p.m. hour.
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition,” the Bills official account tweeted in the 1 a.m. hour.
Hamlin is in his second year out of Pittsburgh. He was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft and was expected to have a limited role this year. That changed when Micah Hyde suffered a season-ending injury early in the season. Hamlin was inserted into the starting lineup in Week 3 and has blossomed into an excellent player.
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