Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after suffering a cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the team announced.
Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on the field, and he’s currently sedated while undergoing additional testing at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The 24-year-old appeared to take a blow to the chest while making a tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter. He briefly stood up after the collision but then fell back to the ground. Hamlin received medical care for over 10 minutes and was administered CPR before leaving in an ambulance.
“Please continue to pray for Damar and his family,” Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, said in a statement. “We currently have no update at this time. Will ask that you keep the family in your prayers.”
Players and coaches on both teams were visibly emotional as Hamlin was treated and transported from the field. Both sides headed back to their respective locker rooms following a conversation between Bills head coach Sean McDermott and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, and the game was temporarily suspended. The league later confirmed that play wouldn’t resume Monday.
ESPN’s broadcast initially suggested that the two teams would be given five minutes to warm up before restarting, but NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent said in a conference call with reporters that the league did not consider finishing the game.
“It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play,” Vincent said, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive.”
Vincent also confirmed that the Bills will fly back to Buffalo on Monday night. The league didn’t provide an update on the status of the game going forward.
“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.”
Hamlin joined the Bills as a sixth-round selection in the 2021 draft after a five-year college career at Pitt.
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