Bills S Damar Hamlin has cardiac arrest on field, NFL suspends game vs. Bengals
Update as of noon ET Wednesday, Jan. 11: Damar Hamlin discharged from hospital, cleared to rehab at home and with the Bills
Update as of 3 p.m. ET Tuesday, Jan. 10: Damar Hamlin remains hospitalized in Buffalo: 'Not home quite just yet'
Update as of 3:15 p.m. ET Monday, Jan. 9: Damar Hamlin discharged from Cincinnati hospital one week after collapse
Update as of 10:35 a.m. ET Friday, Jan. 6: Bills announce Damar Hamlin's breathing tube is out and he FaceTimed team
Update as of 2:20 p.m. ET Thursday, Jan. 5: Damar Hamlin's doctors say he's 'making substantial progress,' 'beginning to awaken' after on-field collapse
Update as of 12:20 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jan. 4: Bills S Damar Hamlin showing 'signs of improvement,' team to have meetings and walkthrough
Updates as of 1:45 p.m. ET Tuesday, Jan. 3:
Bills announce that Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest on field
NFL says Bills-Bengals will not be resumed this week, league has not changed Week 18 schedule
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital after collapsing on the field with cardiac arrest Monday night in a game against the Bengals that was postponed.
The Bills announced his diagnosis of cardiac arrest early Tuesday morning, hours after he left the stadium in an ambulance.
"Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals," the Bills announced via a statement. "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."
Multiple Bills and Bengals players gathered around Hamlin in extreme concern as he was down and being helped by athletic trainers after he collapsed following a tackle. Hamlin took a big hit in the chest area during the first quarter in a collision with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, who was running upfield after a catch. Hamlin got up after the play, then suddenly collapsed.
Reporters at the stadium said Hamlin was given CPR on the field. More than 15 minutes passed from the time Hamlin collapsed to when he was taken off the field. A little after 10 p.m. ET, ESPN said on the broadcast that the game was suspended for the night, without an immediate update on whether or when the game would be played.
The NFL put out a statement that said, in part, that Hamlin was in critical condition at a local hospital.
NFL statement says Bills safety Damar Hamlin in "critical condition" at local hospital. No words. 🙏🏽🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/5KvZWpN4Wp
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) January 3, 2023
Jordon Rooney, who said he is Hamlin's marketing representative, offered an update saying Hamlin's vital were "back to normal" and he was put to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat.
Update on Damar:
His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently running tests.
We will provide updates as we have them.
— Jordon Rooney (@jordonr) January 3, 2023
The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well being.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) January 3, 2023
Quarterback Josh Allen asked for prayers for Hamlin from his Twitter followers.
Please pray for our brother.
— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) January 3, 2023
Higgins also sent out his best wishes to his fellow competitor.
My prayers and thoughts go out to @HamlinIsland the Hamlin Family. I’m praying that you pull through bro. Love 🙏🏾💙
— Tee Higgins⁵ (@teehiggins5) January 3, 2023
After the injury, both coaches met with on-field officials. At about 9:17 p.m., a little more than 20 minutes after Hamlin collapsed, officials said the game was temporarily suspended. Both teams headed back to the locker room. Less than an hour later, after ESPN showed footage of Bills head coach Sean McDermott and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor taking turns talking on a cell phone outside of the locker rooms underneath the stadium, the game was suspended.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said during a conference call that the league could see the players and coaches were "traumatized" as it discussed suspending the game.
NFL's Troy Vincent: "Look, I've never seen anything like it. Immediately my player hat went on. How do you resume play after you've seen such a traumatic event occur right in front of you?"
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) January 3, 2023
Vincent said the Bills were planning to return to Buffalo, with some players staying behind to be near Hamlin.
It was a frightening situation. ESPN showed several players, including Allen, who were emotional over what they had seen. Bills receiver Stefon Diggs was in tears on the field. He later, according to ESPN's Coley Harvey, took an Uber to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Hamlin is being treated.
Several #Bills players are in great distress. At least 10 trainers from both teams are working on Hamlin. An ambulance is being brought on the field. ... A replay has just shown that Hamlin collapsed on the field. This is an absolutely horrifying situation.
— Jay Skurski (@JaySkurski) January 3, 2023
An ambulance came on the field. Reporters, including ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters, said Hamlin received CPR on the field. After a long delay, Hamlin was put on a backboard and loaded into the ambulance. As the ambulance left the field, the Bills took a knee in prayer.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” a somber Kurt Warner said on the NFL Radio broadcast.
Hamlin, who is 24 years old, was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft out of Pittsburgh. He became a starter in Week 3 this season and has been a starter for the Bills since then.