Bills Safety Damar Hamlin in Critical Condition After Suffering Cardiac Arrest

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle during a night game on Monday, January 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills announced early Tuesday morning.
He is currently sedated and in critical condition.

With just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter Monday night, Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins after a 13-yard catch. Hamlin got to his feet, then collapsed backward. Hamlin received CPR while on the field. According to the Bills, his heartbeat was restored on the field before he was transported in an ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further testing and treatment.

After initially suspending play, the NFL announced the game had been postponed.

“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills,” the NFL said in a statement on Monday. “We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.”

The NFLPA said it had been in touch with both teams and the league, and is focused on Hamlin’s “health and well-being.”

Hamlin was attended to immediately by medical staff, with players from both teams surrounding him, many of them visibly emotional. After Hamlin was taken to the hospital, officials spoke with coaches from both teams. The decision was then made to suspend play, with players and coaches exiting the field to the locker room, before the game was ultimately postponed.

The Buffalo Bills issued a statement on Hamlin’s condition.

“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in the Buffalo Bills’ game versus the Cincinnati Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

Hamlin’s injury took place at the 5:58 mark of the first quarter. The game was postponed by the NFL after Hamlin received medical attention on the field.

The team and all of the sports world continue to pray for his recovery. Get well soon Damar!

On a conference call with the media a couple of hours after the game’s postponement, NFL executive vice president of personnel Troy Vincent said there was never any conversation about a five-minute warmup period to resume play, as was referenced during the ESPN broadcast. 

“It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play,” Vincent said. “That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive.”

Bills players were scheduled to travel back to Buffalo from Cincinnati on Monday night, with a handful of members from the organization staying back to support Hamlin, Vincent said. Members of the Bengals organization, including head coach Zac Taylor, also went to the hospital to check on Hamlin, NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported.

There are currently no plans to resume the Bills-Bengals game and a determination on that will be made at an appropriate time, NFL EVP of communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller said on the conference call. The game was halted with six minutes remaining in the first quarter and the Bengals leading, 7-3.

Since his hospitalization, there has been an outpouring of support to a community fundraiser Hamlin previously established.

Hamlin was a sixth-round pick of the Bills in the 2021 NFL Draft. He made his first career start in Week 3 of this season after Buffalo safety Micah Hyde sustained a season-ending injury. Hamlin has remained in the starting lineup ever since.

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