Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition after suffering a cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to the Bills.
“Damar Hamlin spent last night in the intensive care unit and remains there today in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center,” the Bills tweeted at around noon on Tuesday. “We are grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we have received thus far.”
An earlier tweet posted shortly before 2 a.m. on Tuesday had announced Hamlin’s incident.
“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 tweet read.
The scary scene resulted in the NFL suspending the nationally televised game between the 12-3 Bills and the 11-4 Bengals, which had significant playoff-seeding implications.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the NFL said it would not resume the game this week.
“No decision has been made regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date and we have not announced any changes to this weekend’s schedule,” the statement reads.
“The NFL continues to be in regular contact with the medical team caring for Damar Hamlin, and also the Bills and Bengals organizations and the NFL Players Association,” the league said.
The Bills are next scheduled to host the New England Patriots on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS), while the Bengals are scheduled to host the Baltimore Ravens, but the start time for that game depended on the outcome of the game against the Bills. It will be played either at 1 p.m. ET or 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS).
The injury happened when Hamlin tackled Tee Higgins following the Bengals receiver’s reception near midfield.
Higgins led with his right shoulder and hit Hamlin in the chest. Hamlin quickly got up afterward and took a few steps before abruptly collapsing.
Athletic trainers came out to help immediately. CPR was administered to Hamlin, 24, on the field for multiple minutes, and he received oxygen, according to the ESPN broadcast.
A stretcher was brought to the field as the trainers protected his head. He was then placed in the ambulance and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center some 16 minutes after he collapsed.
A vigil began to grow outside the hospital, with fans of the Bills and Bengals lighting candles and holding signs reading, “Pray for Hamlin,” with his No.3. Some Bills teammates, including wide receiver Stefon Diggs, were also seen arriving at the hospital.
Hamlin’s marketing rep and friend, Jordon Rooney, tweeted a statement early Tuesday afternoon from the injured player’s family.
The statement asked that everyone keep Hamlin in their prayers and promised to share updates as new information becomes available.
The NFL Players Association also released a new statement on Tuesday afternoon: “Our focus remains on Damar.”
The union said it would “ensure that Bills and Bengals players have every resource” available to support them during this time.
In a follow-up tweet, the NFLPA encouraged any player to reach out if they need someone to talk to and linked to the union’s mental health and counseling page on its website.
The Bills flew back to Buffalo in the early hours of Tuesday. Multiple teams around the league canceled their media availabilities Tuesday because of the situation.
In the aftermath, fans flooded Hamlin’s 2020 GoFundMe campaign that benefits his Chasing M’s Foundation.
As of 2:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, GoFundMe had more than $4.4 million worth of donations. The initial fundraiser goal was $2,500.
The foundation supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. It had planned to purchase toys and distribute them before Christmas.
An update posted on Hamlin’s GoFundMe campaign said they are thankful for the “renewed support” for the fundraiser.
“If you would like to show your support and contribute to Damar’s community initiatives and his current fight, this is the place to do so. This is the only current fund that is being used by the Hamlin Family,” the post said.
“We can’t thank all of you enough. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us,” the update says.
Many sports personalities reacted on social media to the frightening incident, but one reaction elicited scores of criticisms.
During the incident, Fox Sports host Skip Bayless tweeted: “No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game — but how? This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome … which suddenly seems so irrelevant.”
That sparked outrage from several current and former athletes.
“We need to cancel [Skip Bayless] ASAP!!!” tweeted former Cowboys player Dez Bryant.
Former NFL player Jacob Hester tweeted to Bayless, telling him to “read the room and have a heart.”
Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson, former NFL player Darelle Revis, and NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins, among many others, also criticized Bayless.
Bayless later followed up with a tweet apologizing for what he said was a misunderstanding.
“Nothing is more important than that young man’s health. That was the point of my last tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters,” Bayless tweeted.
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones told “Shan & RJ” on 105.3 “The Fan” on Tuesday that the league made the correct decision to postpone the game.
“Certainly, the right decision was made relative to the health and wellbeing of all the family and certainly Hamlin himself, but all of the right decisions were made regarding the consideration of family, fans, and of everyone involved,” Jones said.
The reactions continued on Twitter, with every NFL team, including the Cowboys, changing their profile pictures to that of Hamlin’s No.3 Bills jersey, with the words “Pray for Damar” on the jersey.
Below are some of the other reactions from sports personalities to the incident:
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
Praying for God’s protection and Favor over you D.Ham 🤲🏽 💙
— Jabril Cox (@_Brillo) January 3, 2023
WE NEED YOU GOD! PLEASE BE WITH DAMAR PLEASE 🙏🏾
— TY Hilton (@TYHilton13) January 3, 2023
Praying hard.. please be okay man. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 3, 2023
The game is not important.
Damar Hamlin’s life is important.
Please be ok. Please.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 3, 2023
Prayers up for Damar Hamlin and his family. This game should’ve been called, nobody is concerned about football right now…
— Kyler Murray (@K1) January 3, 2023
Unbelievably sad…. Heart is extremely heavy right now. Prayers for @HamlinIsland his health and the Hamlin Family now. Life is too important. Cherish every moment.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) January 3, 2023