Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest before collapsing on the field and being rushed to a local hospital, the Bills announced late Monday evening.
The 24-year-old safety tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins near the end of the first quarter of their “Monday Night Football” matchup. As Hamlin attempted to get back to his feet following the collision, he fell back down to the ground. Teammates frantically waved in medical staff as the situation quickly grew dire, and an ambulance rushed Hamlin off the field and to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in what quickly became a terrifying scene.
Hamlin received CPR on the field and is in critical condition.
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals,” The Bills tweeted 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.”
Hamlin’s agent, Jordon Rooney, said that Hamlin’s vitals had returned to normal levels at the hospital.
“They have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat,” Rooney, Hamlin’s marketing representative at Jaster Athletes posted on Twitter. “They are currently running tests. We will provide updates as we have them.”
After initially being temporarily suspended for over an hour, the NFL decided to officially suspend the game for the evening and attempt to make it up at a later date. The Bengals were leading 7-3 before the game was called.
Although the ESPN broadcast claimed the two teams were given a five-minute warm-up period before attempting to resume the game, the NFL denied they tried to restart action.
“Never crossed my mind to talk about warming up to resume play,” NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent, a former 15-year player, told reporters on a conference call. “That’s ridiculous, insensitive and not a place we should ever be in.”
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