Bengals-Bills game suspended, Bills’ Damar Hamlin in critical condition

Bengals, Bills players shaken following Damar Hamlin on-field collapse
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 9:08 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Bengals-Bills game is officially postponed after a Bills player was defibrillated on-field at Paycor Stadium following his sudden collapse Monday night.

The Bills say 24-year-old Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest following a hit during the game.

News of the game’s postponement came several minutes after Bengals head coach Zac Taylor entered the Bills’ locker room and then emerged speaking with Bills head coach Sean McDermott.

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The Bills flew home Monday night. The team’s buses left Paycor Stadium around 12:20 a.m. for Lunken Airport on Cincinnati’s east side.

Some Bills players have decided to remain in Cincinnati.

No media availability or further comment came from the teams Monday night.

A UC Health spokesperson confirmed the hospital will not offer comment either.

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent and Executive Vice President of Communications Jeff Miller spoke to reporters on a conference call past midnight.

Vincent said neither head coach contemplated resuming play and that the players were never asked to warm up after play was suspended.

He explained the decision to postpone the game was a decision made by the head coaches and players together.

“Frankly, the competitive aspect never crossed my mind,” he said. “[It] never crossed our minds internally.”

Miller said he’d “never seen anything like it” since he played. “Immediately my player hat went on.”

Neither executive would discuss the status of the game.

“There’s nothing in consideration right now,” Miller said. “Our concern is for the player and his well-being. At the appropriate time, I’m sure that we’ll have a conversation around the next steps regarding the game.”

The NFL Players’ Association offered the following statement, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. 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 NFL’s full statement is below.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was injured in the first quarter of Monday night’s game.

Hamlin appeared to suffer an injury while making a hit on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin got up and remained standing for a few moments, but then he collapsed without attempting to support his fall.

First responders “frantically” administered CPR for “many minutes,” according to announcer Joe Buck.

He fell at 8:53 p.m. and remained down for more than fifteen minutes.

Hamlin was given oxygen, placed on a stretcher, hooked up to an IV and eventually carried into an ambulance that had entered the field.

The ambulance remained in the tunnel as Hamlin’s mother made her way down from her seat in the stands.

Hamlin regained a pulse but was not breathing on his own, according to FOX19′s Joe Danneman. He required use of an automated external defibrillator on the field.

The ambulance went to UCMC with a police escort.

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