Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers React to Damar Hamlin On-Field Collapse

Leonard Fournette

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette didn’t hold back his thoughts on football after a scary scene involving Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on Monday, January 2.

“Do y’all understand they had to do CPR on this man, God I’m sending prayers to this man and his family, it’s crazy that we love this game,” Fournette tweeted about a half-hour after Hamlin collapsed on the field in Cincinnati, was administered CPR and taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

Other members of the Bucs also showed support for Hamlin. Former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, now the senior consultant to the general manager, tweeted “prayers for Damar,” and rookie running back Rachaad White likewise asked for prayers for the 24-year-old safety.

Wide receivers Mike Evans, Breshad Perriman and Tyler Johnson all re-shared a photo of the Bills gathered around Hamlin and asked for solidarity in prayer. Perriman also expressed prayers for Hamlin in a separate tweet.

Defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. also re-shared the scene of the Bills surrounding Hamlin and asked for prayers. Offensive lineman Shaq Mason expressed his solidarity with a re-share.

In addition to prayers, the public responded with support of Hamlin’s fundraiser from 2020 — a toy drive on GoFundMe with an original goal of raising $2,500. That donation total has exceeded $3 million since the on-field incident on Monday.

Damar Hamlin Incident Extra Close to Home for Former Bucs Safety

Onetime Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead, a college teammate of Hamlin’s at Pittsburgh, joined in prayer. Whitehead shared his thoughts on Instagram with a photo of himself, Hamlin and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Avonte Maddox from their Pitt days.

“Love you brudda. Pull thru,” Whitehead wrote on his Instagram story.

Whitehead played for the Bucs from 2018 to 2021 after the team drafted him in the fourth round. He now plays for the New York Jets. Whitehead and Hamlin played together for two seasons in 2016 and 2017 at Pitt. The Bills drafted Hamlin in the sixth round of the 2021 draft, and he emerged as a starter in 2022 after Micah Hyde‘s neck injury.

Bucs Hall of Famer Commends League Decision to Postpone Bills-Bengals Game

Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, who played for the Bucs from 1995 to 2008, said postponing the game was the right call.

“I commend the leadership in both the NFL and the NFLPA all for making the right decision to cancel this game tonight,” Brooks wrote.

Fellow former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland retweeted Brooks’ statement with an “amen” and also prayed for Hamlin.

The game had big implications with the Bills (12-3) in the running for the top seed for the AFC and the Bengals (11-4) battling for the AFC North division title. As of writing, the NFL has not made any official announcement on if or when the game could resume, with many of the Bills returning to Buffalo, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

After Hamlin made a routine tackle with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter, he suffered the medical emergency, collapsing to the turf right after briefly standing up following the tackle.

Medical personnel gave him CPR, and an ambulance transported Hamlin to a Level 1 trauma center at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. An update from the Bills at 1:48 Eastern time confirmed Hamlin “suffered a cardiac arrest” and is “currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

Fournette reacted on social media less than a half hour after Hamlin’s collapse, which occurred at 8:55 p.m. Eastern time, and before the NFL postponed the game just after 10 p.m. Eastern time.

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