Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was taken off the field in an ambulance and brought to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after a scary scene in Monday’s Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. As of 1:48 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, January 3, Hamlin remains in critical condition, according to an update from the Bills’ official Twitter account.
“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 team statement read.
A second team update at 1:23 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday confirmed Hamlin “spent the night in the intensive care unit and remains there today in critical condition.”
Hamlin, 24, was injured with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter of the team’s January 2 game, taking a hard hit to the chest as he tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins and then collapsing onto the turf after taking a few steps. Hamlin was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and Fox 19 reporter Joe Danneman shared that the Bills safety was not breathing on his own.
“I’m told Damar Hamlin has a pulse, but is not breathing on his own,” Danneman tweeted at 9:20 p.m. Eastern time. “He is being transported to UC. Needed AED and CPR on the field.”
The ambulance transporting Hamlin and his mother left Paycor Stadium at 9:25 p.m. Eastern time, according to a video posted by ESPN’s Bengals reporter Ben Baby.
At 10:05 p.m. Eastern time, the NFL released a statement postponing the Week 17 game and announcing Hamlin was in “critical” condition.
“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 statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated.
Jordon Rooney, a friend and marketing rep for Hamlin, shared on Twitter after 10:30 p.m. that Hamlin’s vital signs had been stabilized in the hospital.
“Update on Damar: His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat,” he wrote. “They are currently running tests. We will provide updates as we have them.”
At 10:28 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, January 5, the Bills provided the most encouraging update to date, tweeting: “Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours. While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress. We are grateful for the love and support we have received.”
Twitter Reacts to ‘Horrifying Situation’ Involving Bills Safety Damar Hamlin
The Bills did not immediately address Hamlin’s injury, but many online immediately noted the severity.
“Several #Bills players are in great distress,” tweeted Buffalo News reporter Jay Skurski. “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.”
Medical crews attended to Hamlin immediately, administering CPR on the field.
Bills players gathered on the field as Hamlin was down for more than 10 minutes, with many visibly emotional. Quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs were seen with tears in their eyes.
“Bills players are obviously having a very emotional reaction to what’s happening on the field,” tweeted Matt Parrino of Syracuse.com. “Hard to see through the crowd but appears like they’re giving Damar Hamlin CPR.”
Hamlin’s cardiac event led to an extended delay of the Monday Night Football broadcast as players remained on the field.
“There are no words for what is happening with Damar Hamlin right now,” tweeted Bills reporter Julianna Pelusi. “Sean McDermott and Josh Allen looked like they were about to be in tears. This is serious. Praying Damar is going to be okay.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott met with Bengals coach Zac Taylor during the delay, and officials announced that the game was being suspended so that players could go to the locker room and regroup.
Around 10 p.m. Eastern time, just over one hour since the initial incident occurred, the NFL announced the game had been postponed.
Bills Fans Share Prayers, Love for Damar Hamlin
Many Bills fans took to Twitter to share prayers for Hamlin, who moved into a more significant role after the injury to All-Pro Micah Hyde. The Bills selected Hamlin in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft out of the University of Pittsburgh.
The uncertainty surrounding Hamlin’s condition led to an outpouring of emotion from fans.
Many NFL players also shared thoughts on Hamlin.
“Often times people watching forget what players risk on Sundays. Praying hard for Damar Hamlin and his family. God speed,” tweeted Houston Texans offensive lineman Scott Quessenberry, brother of Bills lineman Davis Quessenberry.
This story is developing.