“We are grateful and grateful for the outpouring of support we have received so far,” the team said in a statement.
The game was halted in the first quarter Monday, and the NFL said Tuesday that it would not resume this week. The league announced that it had made no decision about resuming the game at a later date but said it had not changed its schedule for this weekend, the last of the regular season.
Damar Hamlin spent last night in the intensive care unit and remains there today in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
We are grateful and grateful for the outpouring of support we have received so far.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo to all NFL teams that the league had made its scheduling decision after discussions with the Bills, the Bengals and the NFL Players Association.
Hamlin collapsed on the field Monday after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins following a catch. The Bills said early Tuesday morning that Hamlin had suffered a cardiac arrest. Medical personnel were able to restore Hamlin’s heartbeat while treating him on the field, the Bills said, and he was transported by ambulance to the hospital for testing and treatment. Doctors sedated him at the hospital, according to the Bills and Hamlin’s marketing representative, Jordon Rooney.
Rooney wrote Monday night on Twitter that Hamlin’s vital signs were “back to normal,” adding that doctors had “put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat.” Rooney was in Cincinnati on Tuesday to be with Hamlin and his family at the hospital.
“I can’t speak specifically on his medical condition,” Rooney told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday from Cincinnati. “I will say that he is fighting. He’s a fighter. … Now he’s sedated, so the family is in good spirits. We’re honestly just taking it minute by minute, hour by hour.”
Rooney called Hamlin’s family “strong” and “supportive” and said there had been an outpouring of well-wishes from the public.
“There’s definitely been a lot of fans,” Rooney said. “There’s been a lot of traction. There’s been a lot of people coming by. I think what’s most important is to give the family their privacy. … When you see someone on TV or you watch someone play a sport, you don’t see them as a human a lot of times. This is a human being. His family is going through a lot… a lot right now. So I think it’s important for everyone to just kind of remember that this is a person and his family is trying to work through everything.”
Hamlin’s family said in a statement Tuesday: “On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country. … Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as soon as we have them.”
Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told CNN it was “heartbreaking” to see his nephew fighting for his life.
“We were in Pittsburgh watching it on TV, and his little brother was there with us,” Glenn said during an interview Tuesday night. “And when he [saw] his brother dropped like that… I’ve never seen him cry or scream like that. We were trying to calm him down, like: ‘It’s okay. He’ll go and get back up. He’ll be back in the game.’ … Next thing you know, it’s 10 minutes later, they’re doing chest compressions. It’s half an hour later, they’re still not playing yet. I’m like: ‘What’s going on? What’s wrong with my nephew?’ …
“We were all in tears, man. And I’m not a crier. But I’ve never cried so hard in my life, man, just to know, like, my nephew basically died on the field and they brought him back to life. I mean, that’s just heartbreaking. And to see all those grown men crying and all the emotion, man, it really was a gut punch, man. I’ve been crying no matter who it was. But for it to be my nephew, it had that much more impact on me, man. I’m just glad he’s still alive and able to fight and trying to get better and recover.”
Glenn said Hamlin was resuscitated twice.
“They resuscitated him on the field before they brought him to the hospital,” Glenn said. “And then they resuscitated him a second time when he got to the hospital. So I just want to show my gratitude for the medical staff that were on hand because if not for them my nephew probably wouldn’t even be here.”
The NFL remained shaken Tuesday.
“Last night was supposed to be a great night for the NFL and a great showcase for our hometown,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said. in a statement Tuesday. “Instead, the human side of our sport became paramount … and in that moment, humanity and love rose to the forefront.”
Donations to Damar Hamlin’s community toy drive pass $4 million
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady wrote on Twitter: “We’re praying for Damar and his family this morning in Tampa. Moments like this put into perspective what it means to play this game we love. Thankful for our communities in Cincinnati and Buffalo for the overwhelming level of care and support I know they’ll continue to provide.”
Goodell wrote in his memo that teams received information about mental health and support resources available to players and staff.
“Our union’s focus remains on the health of our brother, Damar Hamlin,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “We continue to be in touch with the clubs and NFL to ensure that Bills and Bengals players have every available resource to aid and support them during this time.”
Goodell wrote in Tuesday’s memo that he had decided to postpone the Monday game “and have our focus remain on Damar and his family.” We are in regular contact with both clubs and with the medical team caring for Damar and will share additional information as we receive it.”
The Bills are scheduled to play the New England Patriots on Sunday in Orchard Park, NY. The Bengals are scheduled to play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Cincinnati. The playoffs are set to begin the following weekend, and the Bills and Bengals have clinched postseason berths. So if the NFL leaves this weekend’s schedule unchanged and then seeks to resume the Bills-Bengals game afterwards, that could entail pushing back the playoffs.
“Honest question,” agent David Canter wrote on Twitter, “is there a way to push back the NFL schedule entirely 2-3 weeks? I think players and their families would appreciate it and actually need it. Getting many texts and calls from players and coaches league wide who are hurting right now. Games are quite irrelevant.”