Monday Night Football Suspended: A player for the Buffalo Bills experienced a heart attack on the field, postponing a Monday Night Football game between two of the best teams in the National Football League.
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals,” the Buffalo Bills organization said in 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.”
With roughly 6:15 remaining in the opening frame of the match at Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium, video replays showed Hamlin making a solid tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.
After making the tackle, Hamlin, 24, was seen rising to his feet and nearly instantly collapsing backward, with his entire body crashing to the ground.
Hamlin was quickly attended to by an ambulance at the stadium as his teammates and rivals surrounded him.
According to the game’s broadcast, paramedics reportedly gave the athlete CPR and oxygen at one time. The CPR lasted “several minutes,” according to Joe Buck, the game’s play-by-play announcer.
He spent almost ten minutes on the field before being taken away in the ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital.
As they watched their teammate being taken away, players on both sidelines were visibly distressed, and many were in tears. Both the commentators and the broadcast teams for the game were in disbelief.
Sean McDermott of the Bills and Zac Taylor of the Bengals spoke with the game’s officials for a while after clearing the field.
Both teams went back to their separate dressing rooms after a while. Each team would have five minutes to recover before returning to the field, according to the broadcast team and the game’s officiating crews, who both declared that the game had been temporarily paused.
But the holdup extended far beyond those five minutes, and neither team came out of the locker room.
In the stadium tunnel outside the locker room for the Bills, both coaches could be seen having a second meeting with officials.
It was uncertain whether the game would proceed as planned for almost an hour. According to Buck, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would ultimately decide whether to continue the game.
The game’s broadcast crew declared that play would be stopped for the remainder of the evening shortly after 7 p.m., more than an hour after Hamlin collapsed on the field.
According to a statement from the league, Goodell spoke with the NFL Players Union, and the two parties determined that suspending play for the evening would be the wisest course of action.
Although it was uncertain if the game would be postponed or canceled outright, those specifics appeared to be worked out in the next several hours.
According to the NFL, Hamlin’s status is now rated as critical. Hamlin’s friend and marketing representative Jordon Rooney tweeted an update on his health.
“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,” Rooney wrote in a tweet.
After being chosen by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh, Hamlin is in his second season as a professional.
According to NFL.com, he has participated in every game of the 2022 season, including 13 starts for Buffalo.