Monday Night Football postponed after Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapses, requires CPR on field
CINCINNATI (AP) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was in critical condition Monday night (Jan. 2) after he collapsed on the field and was administered CPR during Buffalo’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which later was suspended by the NFL.
Hamlin was administered CPR on the field and surrounded by teammates -- some of them in tears -- after he was hurt while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.
Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit Hamlin in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down. Hamlin got to his feet, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backward about three seconds later and lay motionless.
Hamlin was treated on the field by team and independent medical personnel and local paramedics, the NFL said, and he was taken by ambulance to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. ESPN reported that teammate Stefon Diggs later joined Hamlin at the hospital.
The NFL waited about 70 minutes before announcing the highly anticipated showdown between AFC championship contenders was being suspended and postponed. No date for its resumption was immediately decided.
“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available,” the league said in a statement. “The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.”
Though an ambulance was on the field within four minutes, Hamlin was laying on the turf receiving treatment for 16 minutes. While medical personnel were gathered around Hamlin, his uniform was cut off and he appeared to be getting CPR. He was strapped to a backboard and moved into the ambulance.
With many players in tears, including Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White, the game’s opposing quarterbacks — Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow — embraced.
“No one’s been through this,” longtime NFL quarterback Troy Aikman said on the ESPN telecast. “I’ve never seen anything like it, either.”
Joe Danneman, a sports reporter from Cincinnati’s Fox 19, reported that Hamlin had a pulse but was not breathing on his own when he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Hamlin collapsed at 7:55 p.m. CT and the game was suspended 21 minutes later. Players walked off the field slowly and into their locker rooms.
Hamlin’s Pittsburgh-based marketing agent tweeted that the player’s vital signs had been stabilized but he was medically sedated and placed on a respirator.
“They are currently running tests,” Jordon Rooney wrote. “We will provide updates as we have them.”
Update on Damar:— Jordon Rooney (@jordonr) January 3, 2023
His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently running tests.
We will provide updates as we have them.
The Saints tweeted, “Our prayers are with Damar Hamlin, his loved ones, and the entire Bills organization.”
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.”
The aftermath of the injury was reminiscent of when Bills tight end Kevin Everett lay motionless on the field after making a tackle on the second-half opening kickoff in Buffalo’s 2007 season-opening game against the Denver Broncos.
Everett sustained a spinal cord injury that initially left him partially paralyzed.
The 24-year-old Hamlin is in his second year with the Bills. He didn’t see much playing time as a rookie but has been a much bigger part of Buffalo’s defense this season. Entering the game, the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin had 91 tackles, including 63 solo tackles, and 1 1/2 sacks.
Father God, I pray that Damar Hamlin is okay and here with us. I also ask that he have a speedy recovery mentally & physically God; in Jesus name… Amen🙏🏾— SAUCE (@iamSauceGardner) January 3, 2023
Hamlin was born in McKees Rocks, Penn., and played collegiately for the University of Pittsburgh. He was the Bills’ sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
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