Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after collapsing during an NFL game

CINCINNATI – Damar Hamlin, 24, in his second season with the Buffalo Bills, was in critical condition in the hospital early Tuesday after collapsing on the field following a collision in the first quarter of a football game against Cincinnati. Bengal.

About nine minutes into Monday night’s game, Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver Dee Higgins after a 13-yard catch. Higgins crashed into Hamlin at full speed, hitting him in the head and chest. Hamlin got up quickly, took two steps, and collapsed backwards, his body limp.

Paramedics administered CPR and attended to him for 10 minutes as both teammates were visibly upset, some in tears while others circled together and knelt in prayer. A medical professional appeared to administer an IV. Hamlin was later placed on a stretcher and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Fans at Paycor Stadium, which had been silent during the ordeal, clapped and cheered as the ambulance drove away.

Hamlin’s collapse was seen by millions of viewers televised on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” The game was suspended for more than an hour before National Football League officials announced the game had been postponed.

“No coaches are talking about resuming the game, players are not thinking about resuming the game,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations. “How do you play again after witnessing such a traumatic event?”

Vincent said an emergency plan was put in place after Hamlin was injured. Specialists and ambulances are available at each stadium.

There was no discussion about restarting the game, which he said contradicted comments from Joe Buck, ESPN’s play-by-play broadcaster. Buck said just before the players returned to the locker rooms, they were told they would have about five minutes before the game could resume. “That’s the word we’re getting from the league and the word we’re getting from the field, but nobody’s moving,” Buck said.

“It’s not about continuing the game,” Vincent told reporters on a conference call earlier Tuesday. “The competitive aspect didn’t cross my mind, it didn’t cross our minds.”

Bills players and staff plan to fly back to Buffalo on Monday night, a league spokesman said. Vincent and other league officials said there are no plans yet to resume the game, which ended with the Bengals leading 7-3.

The The NFL Players Association said in a statement It has been in contact with players from both teams and the NFL, saying “the most important thing at this time is Tamar’s health and well-being,” the statement said.

Hamlin, a sophomore out of Pittsburgh, has been in the starting lineup since September because of injuries in the Buffalo secondary. Within an hour of admission to the hospital, A toy drive led by the Hamlin Charitable Trust He has raised over $650,000 through a crowdfunding website.

Players around the NFL were quick to express their concern on social media. “Praying hard … please get better,” Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes He posted that on his Twitter account.

“The game doesn’t matter,” JJ Watt of the Arizona Cardinals wrote in a post. “Damar Hamlin’s life matters. Please be nice. please.”

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Bills quarterback Josh Allen wrote: “Pray for our brother.”

About 100 football fans gathered outside the University of Cincinnati Hospital to ask for updates on Hamlin’s condition.

Janet Cole, 62, and her brother Chuck Cole, 56, said they were watching the game on TV when they saw Hamlin collapse; They drove 20 minutes to the hospital to pray.

“Instantly, the whole joy of being a Bengals fan was put into perspective,” Chuck Cole said. “Because now we’re talking about life or death.”

Earlier in the first quarter, Bills cornerback Darren Johnson left the game with a head injury trying to tackle Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst. Johnson was held on the field by team trainers for several minutes before departing.

Hamlins is the latest in a spate of injuries this season, prompting fresh criticism of the NFL over player safety. On Sunday, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Nick Foles left a game after being sacked by Giants linebacker Keivon Thibodeaux, who celebrated Foles’ concussion on the field. Foles was carted off but listed with a rib injury.

On September 29, the Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagowailoa was taken to the hospital After hitting his head against the turf in a game against the Bengals. Tagovailova immediately raised her hands and spread her fingers, a gesture “The fence is the answer“It could be a sign of brain injury.

Tagoailoa suffered a concussion and later returned with the team, but much of the attention was focused on the investigation that began the week before, a joint investigation by the league and the NFL Players Association. A concussion four days earlier against the Bills.

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The investigation found that the team followed the league’s concussion protocol, but the NFL and the players union agreed to revise procedures that bar a player from returning to play if he shows ataxia. brain or nerves. Under the previous protocol, players who exhibited “gross motor instability” — difficulty getting up or walking, for example — could return to play if doctors determined there was an orthopedic cause for his instability.

Tagovailoa again suffered a concussion after being sacked on December 25 in a game against the Green Bay Packers.

Emmanuel Morgan Cincinnati and and Belson Reported from New York. Kevin Williams Contributed reporting from Cincinnati.

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