Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the first quarter of a Monday Night Football matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. The defensive back was administered CPR before being taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where the NFL said he’s in critical condition, according to an AP report.
Hamlin collapsed after attempting to get up following a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin appeared to lay motionless on the field after falling backwards.
Following the injury, the game was suspended for 21 minutes. Players from both teams then walked off the field. The game was later postponed. It’s unclear when or if the game will be played in the future.
“Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed,” the NFL wrote in a statement. “Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition. Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. 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.”
Hamlin and medical staff were surrounded by players on both teams as the defensive back received CPR for several minutes. Many players were seen crying and praying on the field. Hamlin’s uniform was cut off before receiving CPR. ESPN reported on its telecast that Hamlin was also given oxygen.
“No one’s been through this,” Troy Aikman said on the ESPN telecast. “I’ve never seen anything like it, either.”
There were no immediate press conferences after the league announced the game was postponed. Before the postponement, the Bengals (11-4) were leading the Bills (12-3), 7-3, in an AFC showdown with playoff implications.
An outpouring of support flooded social media quickly after the incident. Hamlin’s alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, tweeted on their account that they’re “praying” for the former player.
“Damar Hamlin is the best of us. We love you, 3. Praying for you,” the university tweeted.
Fans also began donating to Hamlin’s toy drive GoFundMe page following the scary incident. Donations exceeded $700,000 — eclipsing the initial goal of $2,500.
Hamlin was selected in the sixth round by the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 NFL Draft. The defensive back spent five years at the University of Pittsburgh, appearing in 48 games with the Panthers.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details.