Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after he collapsed during Monday night’s game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills released a statement indicating Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest.
Per the team, he is sedated and in critical condition. The league officially suspended the game following an hour-long stoppage in play.
Hamlin was administered CPR on the field, ESPN reported, and he was surrounded by teammates, some of them in tears, after he was hurt while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.
Higgins led the tackle 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. He was taken by ambulance to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The NFL announced more than an hour after the injury that the game would not resume.
“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.”
Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m., and when he was taken off the field 16 minutes later, the Bills gathered in prayer.
Five minutes after the ambulance departed, the game was suspended and players walked off the field slowly and into their locker rooms.
The Bengals led 7-3 with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter of a game between teams vying for the top playoff seed in the AFC.
During a media conference call late Monday evening, the NFL did not offer any medical updates on Hamlin or address questions about whether the game will be made up. The Bills are reportedly heading back to Buffalo, while some members of the organization remain in Cincinnati to be near Hamlin.
The 24-year-old safety spent five years of college at Pittsburgh — in his hometown — and appeared in 48 games for the Panthers over that span. He was a second-team All-ACC performer as a senior, was voted a team captain and was picked to play in the Senior Bowl.
He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter this year once Micah Hyde was lost for the season to injury.
Entering the game, the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin had 91 tackles, including 63 solo tackles, and 1 1/2 sacks.
This story will be updated with further information.
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