Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after collapsing on the field during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills say.
The team tweeted an update overnight saying, “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.”
The remainder of the game was postponed following the injury. The NFL did not say when the rest of the game would be played.
The game was in the final moments of the first quarter when the 24-year-old Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. A correspondent for ESPN, which was broadcasting the game, said Hamlin “made a hit, he got up, took a couple of steps and then just fell to the ground.”
Medical personnel treated Hamlin on the field for about 10 minutes, including appearing to administer CPR, before an ambulance was driven onto the field, the announcers said. It appeared Hamlin was being given oxygen as he was loaded into the ambulance.
“Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by the team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition,” the NFL said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”
ESPN announcers said Hamlin’s mother was at the game and rode with him in the ambulance.
Players from both teams crowded around Hamlin while he was being treated and several appeared to be distressed. Several were in tears.
“The entire Bills team is out on the field right now,” said an ESPN correspondent as they waited for news on Hamlin’s condition. “Several players are down on their knees, others are holding hands, praying. You can just see the worried looks on their faces.”
After Hamlin was taken off the field, the game was initially “temporarily suspended,” referees said, and the players went back to their respective locker rooms.
The decision to officially postpone the game for the night was announced just after 10 pm ET, about an hour after Hamlin collapsed.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted“Please pray for our brother.”
Fans of both teams, some holding candles, gathered at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Hamlin was taken.
Teammate Stefon Diggs went to see Hamlin at the hospital.
Several other teams sent well-wishes to Hamlin and the Bills, who were playing at Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium.
The Bengals offered a tribute as well, according to Jay Morrison, the Bengals beat writer for The Athletic:
New York governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was “praying” for Hamlin and that “our hearts are with his family, loved ones, and the entire @BuffaloBills community.”
The game happens to have major playoff seeding implications as the league enters the last week of its regular season.
Hamlin was drafted by the Bills in 2021 after playing 46 games at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications, according to his team biography. He also operates The Chasing M’s Foundation, which gives back to the community.
A toy drive that he raised money for on GoFundMe saw a slew of donations after Monday night’s incident. As of 2:30 am EST, the fund surpassed $3 million in pledges. Its original goal was $2,500.
Hamlin also has a clothing brand with the same name, and has donated clothes to students at his former high school.