Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after collapsing on the field during Monday night’s game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, the NFL announced.
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. It’s not clear exactly what happened, but a correspondent for ESPN, which was broadcasting the game, said that 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. Hamlin appeared to be given oxygen as he was loaded into the ambulance.
“Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by 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 that Hamlin’s mother was in attendance at the game and rode with him in the ambulance. Specifics on what caused Hamlin to collapse or what injuries he may have sustained were not provided.
Players from both teams crowded around Hamlin while he was being treated and several appeared to be distressed.
“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 into their respective locker rooms.
The decision to officially postpone the game for the night was announced just after 10 p.m. ET, about an hour after Hamlin collapsed.
The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/lDWNAOEPX4— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted, “Please pray for our brother.”
Please pray for our brother.— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) January 3, 2023
Fans of both teams, some holding candles, were seen gathered at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where Hamlin was taken.
Several other teams sent well-wishes to Hamlin and the Bills, who were playing an away game at Cinncinnati’s Paycor Stadium.
Sending big prayers & love to @HamlinIsland right now 🙏🙏🙏— NFLPA (@NFLPA) January 3, 2023
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.”
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. Hamlin also has a clothing brand with the same name, and has donated clothes to students at his former high school.