CINCINNATI – Safety Bills Hamlin devastation He collapsed on the field, was given CPR, and then was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he is in critical condition, according to the NFL, which postponed the game between Buffalo and the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night.
In a chilling scene that brought a showdown between two of the NFL’s best teams to a halt, CPR was given to Hamlin on the court for several minutes after he collapsed after a play in the first quarter. He was given oxygen, according to the ESPN broadcast, put into the ambulance and taken from the field about 16 minutes after he collapsed and then taken to the nearby University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
“Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by an independent medical team and staff and local paramedics,” the league said in a statement. He was then taken to a local hospital where his condition is critical.
“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant contact with the NFL Players Association agreeing to postpone the game.”
Neither the University of Cincinnati Medical Center nor the Bills expected to make any statements Monday night.
Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, said, “Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no update at this time. We will ask that you keep the family in your prayers.”
The majority of the Bills remained at Paycor Stadium until Monday evening before leaving shortly after midnight and returning to Buffalo, Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said on a phone call. Some of the players, according to Vincent, remained with Hamlin in the hospital.
The injury occurred after Hamlin tackled wide receiver T Higgins And soon after that he woke up. Hamlin then suddenly collapsed, with athletic trainers immediately arriving to help. Then a stretcher was brought onto the field where the athletic trainers protected his head.
The entire billing sideline surrounded Hamlin while he was being cared for. It was clear that several of the Bills’ players were feeling tight and comfortable with each other as he was being nursed by the athletic trainers. Many players turned away from watching Hamlin in distress.
The first attempt to move Hamlin resulted in him being returned to the field, but he was eventually put into an ambulance, which left the field at approximately 9:25 PM ET and drove to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin’s family came down from the stands to be with him in the ambulance.
After Hamlin walked off the field, the Bills players knelt together in a circle and then returned to the sideline, with the defense returning to the field to resume play. Buffalo wide receiver Stephen Diggs Everyone called for a word. However, instead of resuming play, Bengals head coach Zack Taylor drove to Bills counterpart Sean McDermott and met with the game officials in attendance. The decision was then made to pause the game, which the Bengals had a 7-3 lead.
The NFL then announced a full postponement just after 10 p.m. ET, about 90 minutes after kickoff. The league did not say when or if the match would be made up or resumed.
“The National League for National Liberation and everyone in our community prays for Hamelin’s devastation,” the union said in a statement. “We’ve been in touch with the Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well-being.”
Diggs and Taylor were among those who went to the hospital later Monday night, while some fans gathered outside as well. Meanwhile, reaction came from across the sports world on social media, with the Bills star quarterback Josh Allen Among those asking for prayers, Higgins sent his prayers to Hamelin and his family.
Please pray for our brother.
– Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) January 3, 2023
My prayers and thoughts go to @employee Hamlin family. I pray to God that you succeed in that, my brother. Love 🙏🏾💙
– Tee Higgins⁵ (@teehiggins5) January 3, 2023
Hamlin was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft from Pittsburgh, with the Bills’ 212th pick overall.
He’s started for the Bills this season in place of an injured safety Micah Hyde, who suffered a neck injury in Week 2 and has been an injury backup since then. Monday’s Hamlin tied for second-most tackles on the team (91), has a forced fumble and 1.5 sacks this year, making 13 starts.
Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier recently noted that Hamlin has developed over the course of the season, including progressing more as a vocal lead and improving as a catcher, while also throwing a lot on his plate quickly after having to tackle Hyde.
In the same Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans in which Hyde, Hamlin’s close friend and former college teammate, Bills cornerback, was injured Dean JacksonHe was taken off the field with a neck injury. Jackson missed one game.
Hamlin has a foundation, Chasing M’s, that has been raising money for a game drive. Its stated goal was $2,500, but by early Tuesday morning, it had increased to more than $2.1 million in donations.
One of the team’s MVPs in the 2016 class of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Hamlin chose to play for Pitt at the expense of Ohio State and Penn State. He performed, becoming a three-year starter and one of the most reliable players on a defense that demanded a lot from him at the safety position.
In his final season at Pitt in 2020, Hamlin was a second-team All-ACC selection, leading the Panthers with 67 tackles and seven pass breakups. After Hamlin was drafted, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi told WGRZ-TV: “He’s got that heart. He’s got the leadership. I mean, our entire defense revolves around him. Damar’s going to step up there, show his skills. I think he’s so versatile.”
ESPN’s Collie Harvey and Ben Pepe contributed to this report.
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