During the opening quarter with the Bengals on offense, Bills starting safety Damar Hamlin made a tackle on Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins. Moments after Hamlin returned to his feet, he collapsed onto his back and laid motionless on the ground. At first it was unclear why Hamlin was down during the live broadcast, but ESPN replays showed the distressing scenes.
Hamlin’s teammates and coaches were visibly distraught, some in tears as Hamlin was administered CPR and oxygen on the field by medical staff. Players from both teams knelt in prayer as Hamlin was placed on a stretcher and transported via ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. As for this writing local media is reporting that Hamlin has a pulse but is not breathing on his own.
Head coaches Zac Taylor and Sean McDermott spoke with officials and eventually a decision was made to suspend the game until further notice. Initially it looked as if the NFL’s call was to give the teams five minutes of warm-up before resuming play, which given the gravity of this situation seems wholly inappropriate and unreasonable.
There is not much more to say or add to what is an ongoing and concerning story. We wish the best for Hamlin and his family as he continues to receive medical treatment.
Update: As expected, the game has officially been postponed by the NFL. Hamlin is currently listed in critical condition.
Update 2: A statement from the Bills confirms that Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. He remains in critical condition as of Monday night.
Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023