Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin suffered a life-threatening injury against the Cincinnati Bengals on “Monday Night Football.”
Hamlin was taken to the University of Cincinnati Hospital and the NFL said in a statement he was in critical condition. The game was suspended for the evening as the NFL world prayed for the 24-year-old’s well-being.
“His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat,” Jordan Rooney, his marketing representative and friend, wrote on Twitter. “They are currently running tests. We will provide updates as we have them.”
Hamlin’s mother, who attends most of his NFL games, was in attendance for “Monday Night Football.” Stadium and NFL officials worked quickly to bring her down to the field and to the ambulance to allow her to ride with her son.
In 2020, Hamlin founded his own personal brand and charity, Chasing Ms. The safety and his brand run an annual toy drive for Christmas, which just hosted its third event this past holiday. At last count, over $1 million had been raised for his charity in the immediate aftermath of the frightening injury.
“Our 3rd annual @chasingMs foundation toy drive hosted by @d.ham3 was a success!” Hamlin wrote in his most recent Instagram post. “Thank you to everyone who came out. We hope you all are enjoying your holidays.”
Hamlin was drafted No. 212 overall in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. A Pittsburgh native, Hamlin went to Pittsburgh Central Catholic high school and played for the University of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi tweeted a handful of prayer emojis with Hamlin’s handle.
In five years at the University of Pittsburgh, Hamlin compiled 290 tackles and six interceptions. That was enough for the Bills to draft him and after being a rotation player in 2021, Hamlin became a starter when All-Pro Micah Hyde was lost for the season in Week 2.
In his 2022 season, Hamlin compiled 91 tackles, one and a half sacks and a forced fumble.
Hamlin, according to the Democrat & Chronicle, lost three friends in shooting deaths that the police never solved.
“Some of the stories you hear from these guys, you’re like, ‘Man, that’s tough; what a tough hand this player, this person has been dealt,’” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said last year, according to the paper. “But what an accomplishment for Damar to avoid things. He knows people that have died or whatever but at the end of the day he’s about football, he’s a good person, and he’s going to be a good pro.”
Hamlin’s father was arrested for selling drugs and spent 3 1/2 years in prison, but the two seemed to have a very tight relationship.
“We weathered every storm from hell & back together as a family. Not ashamed of our story cause it made us who we are. 💯 Happy Father’s Day pops,” he captioned a photo of him and his parents. “You taught me a lot in life but something that will always stick with me is making sacrifices for the people you love. 💕 whatever it takes For The Family.”
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