NATIONAL NEWS

Bills’ Hamlin in critical condition after collapse on field

Jan 3, 2023, 7:59 AM

Fans look on as the ambulance leaves carrying Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills after he collaps...

Fans look on as the ambulance leaves carrying Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills after he collapsed after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Buffalo defensive back Damar Hamlin was in critical condition early Tuesday after the Bills say his heart stopped following a tackle during the Monday Night Football game, which was indefinitely postponed.

Hamlin collapsed on the field during the first quarter of the nationally televised game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was given medical treatment for nearly 20 minutes before being taken to a hospital.

“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,” the Bills said in a statement. “He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

Jordon Rooney, a family representative who described himself as a good friend of the player, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that Hamlin’s relatives are in good spirits but going through a lot and need their privacy. He declined to give details on Hamlin’s condition other than to say he is sedated.

“All I can say is he’s fighting; he’s a fighter,” Rooney said.

In a chilling scene, Hamlin was administered CPR on the field, ESPN reported, while surrounded by teammates, some of them in tears, while they shielded him from public view. He was hurt while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on a seemingly routine play that didn’t appear unusually violent.

The NFL announced Hamlin’s condition shortly after he was taken to a hospital, but neither the league nor the hospital released any other details about the 24-year-old’s medical condition. The team’s statement was released before its flight arrived back in Buffalo early Tuesday. There was no immediate update about the future status of the game.

On the play the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin was injured, Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit the defensive back in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to drag him down. Hamlin quickly got to his feet, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand and then fell backward about three seconds later and lay motionless.

Hamlin was treated on the field by team and independent medical personnel and local paramedics, and he was taken by ambulance to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Teammate Stefon Diggs later joined Hamlin at the hospital.

About 100 Bills fans and a few Bengals fans gathered on a corner one block from the emergency room entrance, some of them holding candles.

Jeff Miller, an NFL executive vice president, told reporters on a conference call early Tuesday that the league had made no plans at this time to play the game, adding that Hamlin’s health was the main focus.

An ambulance was on the field four minutes after Hamlin collapsed while many players embraced, including quarterbacks Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow.

“Please pray for our brother,” Allen tweeted.

Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m., and when he was taken off the field about 19 minutes later in what seemed like an eternity, the Bills gathered in prayer. A few minutes after the ambulance left the field, the game was suspended, and players walked off the field slowly and into their locker rooms where they awaited word on Hamlin and the game.

“I’ve never seen anything like it since I was playing,” NFL executive Troy Vincent, a six-time Pro Bowl cornerback during his career, said in the conference call early Tuesday. “Immediately, my player hat went on, like, how do you resume playing after seeing a traumatic event in front of you?”

Hamlin’s uniform was cut off as he was attended to by medical personnel. ESPN reported on its telecast that Hamlin was also given oxygen.

Vincent said the league took no steps toward restarting the game and did not ask players to begin a five-minute warmup period as ESPN’s broadcasters had announced.

“It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play,” Vincent said. “That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. That’s not a place we should ever be in.”

Vincent said the Bills were returning early Tuesday morning to the team facility in Orchard Park, New York, with the exception of a few players who stayed behind with Hamlin.

There was a heavy police presence at Buffalo Niagara International Airport when the team arrived at about 2:45 a.m. A small group of fans gathered across the street from the players’ parking area near the airport. Police blocked off the road to allow the players to leave.

The Bengals led 7-3 in the first quarter of a game between teams vying for the top playoff seed in the AFC. Cincinnati entered at 11-4 and leading the AFC North by one game over Baltimore, while AFC East champion Buffalo was 12-3.

“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin,” the players’ union said in a statement. “We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well being.”

The unfinished game has major playoff implications as the NFL enters the final week of the regular season, with the wild-card playoff round scheduled to begin on Jan. 14.

The aftermath of the injury was reminiscent of when Bills tight end Kevin Everett lay motionless on the field after making a tackle on the second-half opening kickoff in Buffalo’s 2007 season-opening game against the Denver Broncos.

Everett sustained a spinal cord injury that initially left him partially paralyzed.

Hamlin spent five years of college at Pittsburgh — his hometown — and appeared in 48 games for the Panthers over that span. He was a second-team All-ACC performer as a senior, was voted a team captain and was picked to play in the Senior Bowl.

He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter this year once Micah Hyde was lost for the season to injury.

By late Monday night, a community toy drive organized by Hamlin had surged to more than $1.2 million in donations. His stated goal was $2,500.

Kathryn Bersani and her mother, Gayle, were among the Bills fans who traveled from Buffalo for the game and went to the hospital from the stadium.

“This is our family Christmas,” Kathryn Bersani said. “We thought it would be a great game. Joe (Burrow) and Josh (Allen) are such great men. Sad, sad time. Such a shock. I just hope he can live a normal life. It stunned us.”

Chuck and Janet Kohl went to the hospital after watching the game at home.

“This is much more important than football,” Chuck Kohl said. “Had to come and pray for Mr. Hamlin.”

Entering the game, Hamlin had 91 tackles, including 63 solo tackles, and 1 1/2 sacks.

A tweet from the Pitt football account was simple and clear: “Damar Hamlin is the best of us. We love you, 3,” the tweet said, referring to Hamlin by his college jersey number. “Praying for you.”

___

AP freelancer Jeff Wallner, AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi and AP Sports Writers John Wawrow and Ben Nuckols contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE - This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, and partially...

Eric Tucker, Adriana Gomez Licon and Freida Frisaro

Judge in Trump’s classified documents case is expected to set a trial date during a crucial hearing

The federal judge overseeing the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump is expected to set a trial date.

2 hours ago

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced February 29 that Heritage Store Hydrogen Peroxide ...

John Towfighi, CNN

Mouthwash recalled nationwide over poisoning risk

One brand of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is being recalled nationwide for posing a potential poisoning risk for children.

12 hours ago

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 10: Ballots are processed by an election worker at the Clark Cou...

Gabe Stern, Associated Press/Report for America

Nevada county election official in charge of controversial 2022 hand-count plan resigns

A Nye County spokesperson says top elections official Mark Kampf is resigning.

12 hours ago

Protesters gathered outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery in the wake of the IVF ruling on ...

Devon M. Sayers, Shirin Faqiri and Eric Levenson, CNN

Alabama House and Senate approve bills aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization after personhood ruling

The Alabama House and Senate each passed bills Thursday aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization treatments .

17 hours ago

FILE: Vivint Doorbell Camera (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...

Haleluya Hadero, AP Business Writer

Some doorbell cameras sold on Amazon and other online sites have major security flaws, report says

Consumer Reports says some doorbell cameras sold by Amazon and other online retailers have security flaws that could allow bad actors to view footage from the devices or control them completely.

17 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey...

Jordan Valinsky, CNN

Oprah is leaving WeightWatchers, sending stock tumbling

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers, ending a nearly decade-long stint as a director of the beleaguered company that has faced sudden competition from Ozempic.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Bills’ Hamlin in critical condition after collapse on field