The Buffalo Bills said Hamlin, who collapsed on the field after a tackle, went into cardiac arrest.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest on the field during an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The emergency situation during Monday night’s game sparked an outpouring of congratulations from fans, commentators and other players, and brought attention back to the hazards of the country’s most popular sport.
“Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after a hit in our game against the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to UC Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment,” the Bills said in a statement. “He is currently sedated and hospitalized in critical condition.”
The 24-year-old briefly got to his feet after making what appeared to be a routine tackle on the Bengals’ Tee Higgins with 5:58 left in the first quarter, but then fell to his back and remained motionless.
According to ESPN, medical personnel administered CPR to Hamlin and also gave him oxygen as they loaded him into an ambulance that was being brought onto the field.
Players on both NFL teams, clearly shaken by what they had witnessed, gathered around Hamlin during the treatment, with many kneeling to pray and some crying.
“Tonight’s game between Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced,” the NFL statement said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills.”
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2023
Hamlin’s marketing rep, Jordon Rooney, later tweeted: “Update on Damar: His vitals are back to normal and they put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently testing. We will provide updates as soon as we have them.”
The Bills did not immediately release a statement detailing Hamlin’s condition or the postponement, though they tweeted, “The thoughts and prayers of all of the Bills Mafia support you, Damar.”
The Bengals released a brief statement on Twitter: “The game has been postponed. We will provide more information as more information becomes available.”
American football, one of the most violent team sports, and its organization that the NFL has faced growing concerns in recent years due to the concussions suffered by players on the field.
While injuries are common in the sport, several observers said it was the first time they had seen an ambulance come onto the field to treat a player.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” former quarterback Kurt Warner said on NFL Radio.
Damar Hamlin represents every one of us and every teammate we’ve ever had. I never met him, but I know him as a member of our brotherhood. My family and I are praying for him and his family as he recovers. God be with him.
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) January 3, 2023
Former NFL player Drew Brees took to Twitter to express concern for Hamlin, saying he represented “every one of us and every teammate we’ve ever had.”
The NFL Players Association said it has been in contact with players from both teams.
“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. We’ve been in contact with Bills and Bengals players and the NFL. All that matters right now is Damar’s health and well-being,” the union said on Twitter.
“Please pray for our brother,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted.