CINCINNATI (AP) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and was administered CPR before being wheeled away in an ambulance during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which was suspended following the injury.
Hamlin clashed with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins after a close. He stood up, seemed to adjust his face mask with his right hand, then fell back about three seconds later and lay motionless.
Hamlin was surrounded by stunned players from both teams. The ambulance was on the field four minutes after Hamlin collapsed and many players were crying, including cornerback Tre’Davious White. The quarterbacks — Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow — hugged.
When Hamlin was taken off the field 16 minutes after his collapse, the Bills gathered for prayer. He was driven to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Hamlin’s uniform was cut off and he appeared to be revived by medical personnel. ESPN reported on its TV show that Hamlin was also given oxygen.
“No one went through that,” longtime NFL quarterback Troy Aikman told the ESPN show. “I’ve never seen anything like it either.”
Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m. East and the game was suspended 21 minutes later. The players slowly walked off the field and into their dressing rooms.
The aftermath of the injury recalled when Bill’s tight end Kevin Everett lay motionless on the field after a tackle in the second half of Buffalo’s 2007 season opener against the Denver Broncos.
Everett suffered a spinal cord injury that initially left him partially paralyzed.
Hamlin, 24, spent five years at college in Pitt – his hometown – and appeared in 48 games for the Panthers during that span. As a senior, he was a second-team All-ACC player, was elected team captain, and was selected to the Senior Bowl.
He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and became a starter this year after losing Micah Hyde for the season through injury.
At the start of the game, the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin had 91 tackles, including 63 solo tackles, and 1 1/2 sacks.
A tweet from the Pitt Football account was simple and clear: “Damar Hamlin is the best of us. We love you 3,” the tweet said, referencing Hamlin by his college jersey number. “Praying for you.”
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Buffalo Bills players pray for teammate Damar Hamlin during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, January 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) pauses as Damar Hamlin is examined during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Buffalo Bills players react as teammate Damar Hamlin is examined during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)