Home sport Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapses after tackle in ‘critical condition’

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapses after tackle in ‘critical condition’

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Hamlin’s defensive back devastation Buffalo was in critical condition early Tuesday after the Bills said he suffered cardiac arrest on the court following a tackle hours earlier, prompting the indefinite postponement of Buffalo’s pivotal game Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Demar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest from an injury during our game against the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was taken to UC Medical Center for further examinations and treatment. He is currently under the influence of anesthesia and listed in critical condition. »

In a chilling scene, Hamlin underwent CPR on the field, ESPN reported, while surrounded by his teammates, some in tears, as they shielded him from the crowd’s gaze. He was injured while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on a seemingly routine play that did not appear to be exceptionally violent.

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The NFL announced Hamlin’s condition shortly after his hospitalization, but neither the league nor the hospital released more details about the 24-year-old’s health. The team’s statement was released prior to his flight’s arrival in Buffalo early Tuesday. There was no immediate update on the future status of the game.

On the play, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Hamlin was injured, and Higgins came up with a right shoulder, slashing the defense to the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to pull him down. Hamlin quickly stood up, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, then fell backwards about three seconds later and remained motionless.

Hamlin was treated on the field by a team, independent medical staff and local paramedics, and transported by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin was then joined by teammate Stefon Diggs in hospital.

Spencer Brown (79) of the Buffalo Bills reacts as teammate Damar Hamlin is checked during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, on Monday, January 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean).


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

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The NFL has no plans to play the game at this time, NFL executive vice president Jeff Miller told reporters on a conference call early Tuesday, adding that Hamlin’s health is a top priority.

An ambulance was on the field four minutes after Hamlin collapsed with several players hugging, including Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow.

“Please pray for our brother,” Allen wrote in a tweet.

Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m., and when he was carted off the field about 19 minutes later in what seemed like an eternity, the Bills came together in prayer. Minutes after the ambulance left the field, play was suspended and the players slowly left the field for their dressing rooms where they awaited news of Hamlin and the match.

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“I’ve never seen anything like this in my time playing,” NFL executive Troy Vincent, a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback in his career, said on the conference call early Tuesday morning. “Immediately, my player hat continued, like, How do you start playing again after seeing a traumatic event in front of you?”

Hamlin’s uniform was cut as medical personnel attended. ESPN reported on its television show that Hamlin also received oxygen.

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Vincent said the league took no action to restart the game and did not require players to begin the five-minute warm-up period, as announced by ESPN announcers.

“It never occurred to us to talk about warming up to get back into action,” said Vincent. “Nonsense. It is insensitive. This is not at all where we should be.”

Vincent said the Bills returned early Tuesday morning to the team’s headquarters in Orchard Park, New York, except for a few players who stayed with Hamlin.

There was a heavy police presence at Buffalo Niagara International Airport when the team arrived around 2:45 a.m. A small group of fans gathered in front of the players’ parking lot near the airport. The police blocked the road to allow the players to leave.

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The Bengals took a 7-3 lead in the first quarter in the AFC matchup. Cincinnati came in at 11-4 and led the AFC North by one game against Baltimore, while Buffalo was the AFC East champion at 12-3.


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“The NFL and everyone in our community prays for Hamlin’s devastation,” the players union said in a statement. “We have been in contact with players from the Bills and Bengals and the NFL. The only thing that matters now is Damar’s health and well-being.”

The incomplete game has major implications for the playoffs as the NFL enters the final week of the regular season, and the playoff round for wildcard games is scheduled to begin January 14.

The effects of the injury were reminiscent of Bills’ tight end Kevin Everett lying motionless on the field after being tackled early in the second half in Buffalo’s 2007 season opener against the Denver Broncos.

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

Hamlin spent five years at the University of Pittsburgh—his hometown—and played 48 games with the Panthers during that time. He was a second-team All-ACC as a senior, was voted team captain, and selected to play in the Senior Bowl.

Drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, he played 14 games as a starter and then became the starter of the year once Micah Hyde lost the season due to an injury.

By late Monday night, Hamlin’s Community Games campaign had reached more than $1.2 million in donations. His stated goal was $2,500.

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

“It’s our family’s birthday,” said Catherine Bersani. “We thought it was going to be a great match. Joe (Borough) and Josh (Allen) are great guys. Sad sad moment. What a shock. I just wish he had a normal life. We were blown away.”

Chuck and Janet Cole go to the hospital after watching the game at home.

“It’s much more important than football,” said Chuck Cole. “I had to come and call Mr. Hamelin.”

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

The tweet from Pitt’s football account was simple and clear: “Damar Hamlin is better than us,” referring to Hamlin by his college jersey number. “I pray for you.”

Associated Press freelance writer Jeff Wallner, AP Pro football writer Rob Maddy, AP sportswriter John Waugh and AP sportswriter Ben Nuckolls contributed to this report.

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