Officials said Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was in critical condition at a hospital after collapsing after a hit in the first quarter of “Monday Night Football” against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
The Bills said in a statement early Tuesday that Hamlin, 24, went into cardiac arrest.
“On the field, his heartbeat was restored, and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for additional testing and treatment,” the Bills said, referring to the University of Cincinnati’s Level 1 trauma centre. “He is currently sedated and listed as critical.”
When Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, stood up, and then collapsed on his back, Cincinnati led 7-3.
An ambulance arrived on the field as trainers surrounded Hamlin. According to the ESPN broadcasters, Hamlin was given CPR for several minutes. Players and coaches were visibly moved, and the Bills knelt to pray.
According to broadcasters, he was accompanied by family members.
According to the NFL, Hamlin received immediate medical attention following the incident.
“Our hearts go out to Damar and the Buffalo Bills. More information will be provided as it becomes available “said the NFL.
The game was suspended, then rescheduled. Both teams exited the field and went to their respective locker rooms.
The broadcast team in the booth, as well as their colleagues in the network studio, were moved to tears.
“Monday Night Football” is a production of ESPN that airs on ABC.
“Bills Mafia is with you, @HamlinIsland,” the Buffalo Bills tweeted, referring to the player and a nickname for Bills fans. The Bengals were among those who responded with an emoji of praying hands.
On Monday’s broadcast, the apparent gravity of the situation was described as unprecedented in a game where players do occasionally sustain serious injuries.
The game was called off with 5:58 minutes remaining in the first quarter. The game was officially postponed about an hour later, shortly after 10 p.m. ET.
“Bills Mafia is with you, @HamlinIsland,” the Buffalo Bills tweeted, referring to the player and a nickname for Bills fans. The Bengals were among those who responded with an emoji of praying hands. “Please pray for our brother,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen wrote.
“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin,” said the NFL Players Association, the players’ union.
“We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. “Right now, the only thing that matters is Damar’s health and well-being,” the union stated.
Following the incident, a “emergency action plan” was implemented, according to Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of Football Operations, during a conference call later Monday.
He stated that neither the coaches nor the players were discussing the possibility of resuming play.
“It was really about Demar and making sure that — look, I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire career,” Vincent, a former NFL cornerback, said. He described it as a traumatic event.
Hamlin is from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, which is close to Pittsburgh, and he was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
“We send our thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin, his family, and the Buffalo Bills,” the Pittsburgh Steelers tweeted.
Bengals fans showed up outside the hospital to show their support, according to video from NBC affiliate WLWT.
“Watching that on TV didn’t help,” Demetria Tutt admitted. “To see that and have kids, family members watch that, what happened tonight — no one ever wants to see that. We’re simply praying.”