Monday Night Football was postponed after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after making an open-field tackle. CPR was administered to Hamlin on the field for more than 10 minutes. He was then transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where he is in critical condition, according to the NFL.
The Bills were in Cincinnati to play the Bengals on Monday night in a showdown between two of the NFL’s best teams.
The frightening incident happened when Hamlin tackled Tee Higgins after a 13-yard reception with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter and the Bengals leading 7-3.
A replay showed Hamlin taking a hit to the chest from Higgins’ helmet.
Hamlin, 24, quickly got up and took a few steps but abruptly collapsed, with athletic trainers coming to help immediately. A stretcher was brought to the field as athletic trainers protected his head.
Medical personnel administered CPR for 16 minutes on the field, and Hamlin was given oxygen and an IV before being transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Players from both teams were praying and crying on the field.
The game was initially temporarily suspended, and once Hamlin was in the ambulance and off the field, officials were set to give players five minutes to warm up and restart the game.
But Bills coach Sean McDermott was seen directing his players to the locker room.
The NFL subsequently announced it was postponing the game.
“Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics,” the league said in a statement. “He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.
“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.”
The NFL Players Association also released a statement on the matter.
“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 NFLPA said in a tweet. “The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well-being.”
The Bills selected Hamlin in the sixth round, No.212 overall, of the 2021 NFL draft out of Pittsburgh.
He played in 14 games last season – mostly on special teams – in his rookie season.
Hamlin was playing his 16th game of the season and had been starting in place of injured safety Micah Hyde, who suffered a neck injury in Week 2. Hyde was placed on injured reserve.
Hamlin entered Monday tied for the second-most tackles on the team (91) and has one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks this year.