Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin ‘Suffered Cardiac Arrest’ Playing Cincinnati Bengals: What to Know – Us Weekly

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Sports fans are rallying around Damar Hamlin after the Buffalo Bills safety collapsed on the field during the Monday, January 2, game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 24-year-old athlete suffered cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins at approximately 8:55 p.m. ET during the first quarter. While he initially stood up, he collapsed moments later, and medical professionals rushed to him on the field. After conducting nearly 10 minutes of CPR, Hamlin’s “heartbeat was restored on the field,” per the Bills. Sports Illustrated reports that Hamlin’s ambulance left Paycor Stadium in Ohio at 9:25 p.m. ET.
“He was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment,” the team’s official Twitter explained on Tuesday, January 3, via Twitter. “He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”
The game was “temporarily suspended” with the Bengals winning 7-3 and 5:58 remaining in the first quarter before it was officially postponed. While the ESPN broadcasters stated that players were given a five-minute warm-up period and told to resume play, NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent denied that the NFL wanted to continue the game.
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“I’m not sure where that came from,” Vincent said in a conference call, per multiple outlets. “Frankly, there was no time period for the players to get warmed up. Frankly, the only thing that we asked was that (referee) Shawn (Smith) communicate with both head coaches to make sure they had the proper time inside the locker room to discuss what they felt like was best. So, I’m not sure where that came from – five minutes warm up never, never crossed my mind, personally. And I was the one – I’m saying ‘I’ not to be selfish – but the one that was communicating with the commissioner. We never, frankly, it never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive, and that’s not a place that we should ever be in.”
In addition to fans and celebrities sending their well-wishes to Hamlin, past and current NFL players were quick to take to social media to react.
“Please pray for our brother,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted.
Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields wrote, “Prayers up … 🙏“
“Please be OK man. Please be OK,” Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end J.J. Watt posted.
Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins wrote, “Praying for Damar Hamlin and his family.”
The Bengals’ official Twitter account added, “Sending our thoughts and prayers to Demar.”
Scroll through for more on Hamlin and the incident:
Credit: AP/Shutterstock
Sports fans are rallying around Damar Hamlin after the Buffalo Bills safety collapsed on the field during the Monday, January 2, game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 24-year-old athlete suffered cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins at approximately 8:55 p.m. ET during the first quarter. While he initially stood up, he collapsed moments later, and medical professionals rushed to him on the field. After conducting nearly 10 minutes of CPR, Hamlin’s “heartbeat was restored on the field,” per the Bills. Sports Illustrated reports that Hamlin’s ambulance left Paycor Stadium in Ohio at 9:25 p.m. ET. “He was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment,” the team’s official Twitter explained on Tuesday, January 3, via Twitter. “He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.” The game was “temporarily suspended” with the Bengals winning 7-3 and 5:58 remaining in the first quarter before it was officially postponed. While the ESPN broadcasters stated that players were given a five-minute warm-up period and told to resume play, NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent denied that the NFL wanted to continue the game. [jwplayer 6PQ4Xarr-zhNYySv2] “I’m not sure where that came from,” Vincent said in a conference call, per multiple outlets. “Frankly, there was no time period for the players to get warmed up. Frankly, the only thing that we asked was that (referee) Shawn (Smith) communicate with both head coaches to make sure they had the proper time inside the locker room to discuss what they felt like was best. So, I’m not sure where that came from – five minutes warm up never, never crossed my mind, personally. And I was the one – I’m saying ‘I’ not to be selfish – but the one that was communicating with the commissioner. We never, frankly, it never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive, and that’s not a place that we should ever be in.” In addition to fans and celebrities sending their well-wishes to Hamlin, past and current NFL players were quick to take to social media to react. “Please pray for our brother,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen tweeted. Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields wrote, “Prayers up … 🙏“ “Please be OK man. Please be OK,” Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end J.J. Watt posted. Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins wrote, “Praying for Damar Hamlin and his family.” The Bengals’ official Twitter account added, “Sending our thoughts and prayers to Demar.” Scroll through for more on Hamlin and the incident:
Credit: Adrian Kraus/AP/Shutterstock

After playing college football at the University of Pittsburgh, Hamlin was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round in 2021, signing a four-year contract. He became a starter during week 2 of the 2022 season.
Amid his hospitalization, Hamlin’s The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive received more than $3 million in donations via GoFundMe.
Credit: Emilee Chinn/AP/Shutterstock

Hamlin tackled Higgins, a Bengals wide receiver, during the game before he collapsed. The former Clemson player was drafted by Cincinnati in 2020.
“My prayers and thoughts go out to @HamlinIsland [and] the Hamlin Family,” Higgins tweeted in the early hours of January 3, tagging Hamlin’s Twitter. “I’m praying that you pull through bro. Love 🙏🏾💙.”
Credit: Rick Osentoski/AP/Shutterstock

Hamlin was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His teammate Stefon Diggs was spotted arriving at the hospital on January 2. ESPN reported that a cop wasn’t going to let him into the facility until he pleaded, “I need to be there for my teammate.”
Credit: Joshua A Bickel/AP/Shutterstock

After viewers saw players seemingly warming up on the sidelines to resume the match-up, reports surfaced that the NFL wanted to continue the game due to playoff stakes, but the coaches and players refused. The organization claimed in its official statement that the NFL was in agreement to postpone the game.
“Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced. Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported o a local hospital where he is in critical condition,” the Monday night statement read. “Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is an agreement with postponing the game.”
In his conference call, Vincent added: ”Emotions you can imagine in both locker rooms, and I commend both of those coaches. Tough situation to go back in and look at 53 men in the locker room and not that they asked but just to try and calm people down. It was obvious on the phone with them that the emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation, and I thought the coaches, they led tonight. They led their locker rooms.”
Credit: John Sommers II/UPI/Shutterstock

The Bills provided an update via Twitter hours after the game was officially canceled. The statement read: “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. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”
Jordon Rooney, a rep for Hamlin, went on Good Morning America to “provide some clarity,” explaining he is currently “sedated” after a breathing tube was placed in his throat.
“The family is in good spirits, we’re just taking it minute by minute, hour by hour,” he said. “His family is strong, supportive. Obviously, they are worried. Damar is very close with his family.”
Rooney subsequently told Daily Mail: “We have no concrete updates right now, last night they administered CPR on the field and got his vitals to a stable position. I’m not sure on the exact medical term, but he is sedated. He is intubated and I’m not sure if that is the same as an induced coma. From that point there hasn’t been a major update, they are really just monitoring him and seeing how he is and how it is best for him to recover. It was a surprise to us, we didn’t expect that to happen. He is healthy and fit.”
Credit: AP/Shutterstock

Nearly one week after the January 2 game was delayed, the NFL announced it would not be rescheduled. “The NFL has announced our Week 17 game will be a no contest,” read a January 5 tweet from the Buffalo Bills, confirming the game would not be resumed. “A special league meeting will be held to vote on the possibility of the AFC Championship game being played at a neutral site.”
Credit: Courtesy of Damar Hamlin/Instagram

The Pennsylvania native’s family released a statement via Rooney’s Twitter on January 3. 
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time,” they began. ​ “We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country.”
The statement continued: “We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be a part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done.” 
The family also asked fans to “please keep Damar in your prayers” and that they would release updates as soon as they have them.
Credit: Greg M Cooper/AP/Shutterstock

On January 3, Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told ESPN that his nephew is still sedated but “improving from where he was yesterday.”
“We are just going to continue to pray, and I know he is in great hands with the medical team he has here. They have been doing a tremendous job,” Glenn added from outside the hospital, revealing that Hamlin had to be resuscitated for the second time after he arrived at the medical center. “I know he’s still here, I know he’s fighting,. We appreciate all the prayers and support we have been getting from people all over — not just the country, but the world. … It really means a difference for my family to see that, and I know it’ll mean a difference to Damar when he sees that.”
Hamlin’s agent, Ron Butler, subsequently told the outlet that the athlete’s oxygen levels have improved since January 2.
Credit: Rick Osentoski/AP/Shutterstock

Hamlin’s doctors revealed during a press conference on January 5 that the athlete began to make “substantial progress.” While Hamlin is still unable to speak, the medical experts said that he is awake and has written notes.
“We’re in the situation where we wanted to allow him to gradually wake up as the rest of his body was healing, and last night he was able to emerge and follow commands and even asked who had won the game,” Dr. Timothy Pritts revealed. “When he asked, ‘Did we win,’ the answer is, ‘Yes, Damar, you won the game of life.'”
Pritts added that Hamlin’s “neurological condition and function is intact,” but he is still “critically ill.”
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Higgins spoke out about the incident after practice on January 5, telling reporters his reaction in the moment. “At first, me being a football player, I’m thinking he just flopped,” he said. “I looked again and seen what happen, I just turned my head and not think about it. I knew it was something crazy. Something tragic. It was hard.”
The wide receiver noted that he’s been in touch with Hamlin’s mother. “[She] texted me this morning, and told me about everything and it made me feel even more at home,” he said, adding that he also visited the hospital where Hamlin is recovering. “I really appreciate them, just hearing from them and them having my back as well, so yeah. Feels good.”
Credit: Courtesy of Jp Waldron/CSM/Shutterstock

The NFL star got a chance to chat with his fellow Buffalo Bills during a call on Friday, January 6, as he continues to recover from his injuries. 
“Damar Hamlin FaceTimed into our team meeting today to talk to players and coaches,” the team’s official social media accounts shared, adding that the athlete’s message to the group was “Love you boys.”
During an interview with the NFL network on the same day, head coach Sean McDermott opened up about the conversation, calling it “amazing” and “touching.”
“Probably won’t be able to do it justice, honestly, with words,” he gushed. “To see Damar through my own eyes is something I’ve been looking forward to.”
Credit: Joshua Bessex/AP/Shutterstock

“When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much,” Hamlin wrote via Instagram on January 7. “The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out.”
He continued: “We brung [sic] the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”
Credit: Courtesy Damar Hamlin/Instagram

The UC Medical Center announced on January 9 that they were “thrilled and proud to share” that Hamlin was released from the hospital and back in Buffalo. “He is doing well and this is the next stage of his recovery,” the doctors said in a statement.
Credit: John McCoy/AP/Shutterstock

Hamlin was discharged from a Buffalo hospital and sent home on January 11 after being transferred from a Cincinnati facility earlier in the week.
“We have completed a series of tests and evaluations, and in consultation with the team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely discharged to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills,” the care team lead for Hamlin at Buffalo General Medical Center and Gates Vascular Institute, Dr. Jamie Nadler, said in a statement at the time.
Credit: Rick Osentoski/AP/Shutterstock

“Damar Hamlin has been discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, a Kaleida Health facility in Buffalo, NY,” a Twitter statement from the Bills read on January 11, noting Hamlin had been admitted two days earlier and underwent a series of “comprehensive” medical evaluations.
Critical care physician Jamie Nadler noted at the time that they were “confident” that Hamlin could be “safely discharged” and continue his rehabilitation from home.
Credit: Courtesy of Matt Milano/Instagram

Bills linebacker Matt Milano shared a photo via his Instagram Story on Saturday, January 14, where Hamlin was seen smiling and greeting teammates at the Bills facility in New York. While he supported his team in person the day prior, Hamlin watched the game from home on Sunday.
“My heart is with my guys as they compete today!” Hamlin tweeted ahead of the playoff game on Sunday, January 15. “Supporting from home as I focus on my recovery. Nothing I want more than to be out there with them! LFG ❤️💙 #BillsMafia.”
Credit: Joshua Bessex/AP/Shutterstock

“Despite being out of the hospital, Damar still has a lengthy recovery,” Hamlin’s friend and business partner Jordan Rooney told CNN on January 20. “Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly. He has visited with the team a few times but he still gets winded very easily. He’s upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this.” 
Earlier that week, Hamlin’s coach, Sean McDermott, confirmed that the athlete had started to come to the Bills’ facility regularly. “It’s limited, just overall, but he comes in and — it really just started really today or yesterday — just trying to get back to a little bit of a routine, just getting himself acclimated again, taking it one baby step at a time,” McDermott told reporters on January 18.
Credit: Joshua Bessex/AP/Shutterstock

While he’s staying off the field, Hamlin still supported his teammates during the playoffs on January 22 when the Bills faced the Bengals for the first time since his collapse. He visited the team in the locker room before watching the game from a suite. 
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