With approximately six minutes left in first quarter, the Bengals were leading the Bills 7-3 when Hamlin tackled Bengals’ wide receiver Tee Higgins near the 50-yard line.
Anticipating Hamlin’s tackle, Higgins legally drove his shoulder into Hamlin’s chest. Hamlin made the routine tackle and stood to his feet, but roughly three seconds later, he shockingly collapsed to the turf at 8:55 P.M.
An official immediately signaled for an injury timeout as players ran to his aid, waving and shouting to the team’s trainers for assistance. After stabilizing Hamlin to be moved, medical personal had to lower him back down and administer CPR for nine minutes. Hamlin was placed in an ambulance on the field at 9:25 P.M. and transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
As seen in video before the game, Hamlin’s family was in attendance, and they were allowed onto the field while Hamlin was being attended to. Nina, Hamlin’s mother, rode with her son in the ambulance to the hospital.
Following a 43-minute temporary suspension, wherein both teams return to their locker rooms, the game was officially postponed at 10:01 P.M.
Hamlin’s friend and marketing representative, Jordan Rooney, provided an update a little over an hour after Hamlin was removed from the Bengals’ home playing field.
“His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently running tests. We will provide updates as we have them,” Rooney posted.
Rooney shared an announcement from Hamlin’s family thanking everyone for their love and support, expressing that they are “deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country.”
“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 part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support,” Hamlin’s family continued. “We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done…Please keep Damar in your prayers”
After news of Hamlin’s injury spread, donations totally over $4.4 million began flooding into a GoFundMe page the Bill’s safety setup two years ago, titled “The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive.” According to the page, Hamlin created the fundraiser to support “toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more.”
In a statement released Tuesday (Jan. 3), the NFL shared that the postponed game would not resume play this week. The league has not made a decision “regarding the possible resumption to the game at a later date.” The league said it hasn’t made any changes to the season’s final week of games, which are scheduled to take place Saturday (Jan. 7) and Sunday (Jan. 8).
Players Pray on the Field
Players and coaches from both teams were visibly shaken by Hamlin’s injury.
As they watched Hamlin fight for his life, tears could be seen running down the faces of multiple teammates, including the Bill’s Pro-Bowl quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
Likewise, Bengals’ players, including Pro-Bowl quarterback Joe Burrow, could be seen consoling Bill’s players with hugs and prayers.
As the ambulance drove off the field, Bill’s players, who are led by outspoken Christian coach Sean McDermott, along with coaches and other personnel, gathered and prayed in the area where Hamlin had been lying lifeless.
The Bills posted a moving image of the team praying, surrounded with tweets from multiple teams and players around the league echoing that they were praying for Hamlin.
Former NFL Player, Pastor Derwin Gray Shares His Reaction
Former NFL defensive back, Derwin Gray, who is now the lead pastor of Transformation Church in North Carolina, was watching the game Monday night and shared with ChurchLeaders how he felt after witnessing Hamlin fall lifeless on the field.