On Monday night, during the NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, second-year Bills player and defensive safety, Damar Hamlin, suddenly collapsed after taking a hit. He was sent to a nearby hospital where he remains in critical condition. He is 24 years old.
With 5:58 minutes remaining in the first quarter of the game, Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver, Tee Higgins, and brought him to the ground. Hamlin then stood up only to stumble a bit before collapsing on the field. In a frightening scene, medical personnel attended to the Bills’ safety, as an ambulance arrived on the field and he was put on a stretcher. Before entering the ambulance truck, the medical officials had to perform CPR for 10 minutes. He was then rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where it was reported he suffered from cardiac arrest and has since been in critical condition.
Both head coaches of the Bills and Bengals, as well as the referees and NFL officials, decided to postpone the game last night to a date that is to be determined, nearly an hour after the incident. There is only one week remaining in the regular season.
Hamlin was drafted by the Bills last year in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, after playing collegiate football for the University of Pittsburgh. Appearing in 14 games in his rookie season as a backup, his hard work and leadership has earned him a starting position this season, according to Bills general manager, Brandon Beane.
“Damar’s done a great job,” Beane said at the start of last season. “He’s a very instinctive player…He’s a great kid, he wants it, he’s working hard and he’s giving himself every chance to put himself in the mix despite being a sixth-round pick.”
Players around the league, current and former, have spoken out via social media to show their support for their colleague.
Hamlin has also done much outside of being an athlete which has illustrated his character and shown his commitment to giving back to the community. In 2020, Hamlin started a GoFundMe that, according to his good friend Jordan Rooney, involves donations that go towards “toy drives, back to school drive[s], kids camps and more.” Since last night, the donations have crossed $4 million.
The Hamlin family released a statement on Twitter earlier today.
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country…We feel so blessed to be 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. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us…We will release updates as soon as we have them.”
We keep the young athlete in our thoughts and hope for his condition to improve. For updates, visit CNN.