Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after collapsing on the field during Monday’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game, according to a National Football League statement.
Hamlin was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and play was officially suspended for the remainder of the night.
“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available,” the league said in a statement. “The NFL has been in constant contact with the NFL Players Association, which agrees with the game’s postponement.”
The NFL Player’s Association also sent their thoughts and prayers for Hamlin, saying “the only thing that matters” is Hamlin’s health.
“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. We’ve been in contact with players from the Bills and Bengals and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and wellbeing,” the federation wrote in a tweet.
During the first quarter of Monday night’s game, Hamlin was seen tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins led with his right shoulder, which caught Hamlin in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to pull him down.
After the game, Hamlin stood up, unperturbed by the duel, but then suddenly fell backwards to the floor.
FILE – Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin #3 tackles Cincinnati Bengals’ Tee Higgins #85 during the first quarter of an NFL football game at Paycor Stadium January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Medical personnel came onto the field to attend to Hamlin, and a stretcher and backboard were brought out to transport him out of Paycor Stadium. Moments later, an ambulance was seen on the field and the broadcast emotionally showed Bill’s coach Sean McDermott, quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs on the field while waiting to hear about Hamlin.
FILE — Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) reacts to Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Ryan Bates (71) while staff attend to the safety of Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin (3) during the game against the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals on January 2, 202 cares (Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Hamlin was surrounded by stunned players from both teams and when he was taken off the field 16 minutes later, the Bills gathered in prayer.
“No one went through that,” longtime NFL quarterback Troy Aikman told the ESPN show. “I’ve never seen anything like it either.”
FILE – Buffalo Bills players cower and pray after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 collapsed on the field after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
The game was stopped 21 minutes after the injury, and the players slowly walked off the field.
The injury he suffered was not immediately clear.
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The football world prayed for Hamlin. Players and coaches of both teams cried and prayed for the best possible result.
The Bills selected Hamlin in the sixth round of the 2021 draft with the No. 212 overall pick. In his rookie season, he played 14 games last season – mostly on the special teams.
Hamlin played his 16th game of the season. He had seen more time on the field as he recorded 91 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.