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Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in a critical condition in hospital after collapsing on the field and needing CPR and treatment from a defibrillator during his team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter and got up briefly before falling backwards to the ground and laying motionless. An ambulance drove onto the field after four minutes to treat the 24-year-old.

He was then rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Hamlin’s friend and marketing rep Jordon Rooney said on Twitter: ‘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.’

Hamlin was surrounded by players from both sides and treated for 16 minutes before being immobilized and taken off the field. Players on both teams were visibly stunned by what had happened and many were in tears on the field. The game was postponed by the NFL.

Teammate Stefon Diggs later joined Hamlin at the hospital. About 100 Bills fans and a few Bengals fans gathered on a corner one block from the emergency room entrance with some of them holding candles.

Hamlin collapsed moments later, falling backwards and laying motionless on the floor

Hamlin collapsed moments later, falling backwards and laying motionless on the floor

Players from both teams stood around the ambulance while Hamlin was treated on the field

Players from both teams stood around the ambulance while Hamlin was treated on the field

Cam Lewis and Siran Neal of the Buffalo Bills react to teammate Hamlin collapsing

Cam Lewis and Siran Neal of the Buffalo Bills react to teammate Hamlin collapsing

While medical personnel were gathered around Hamlin, his playing uniform was cut off. 

Hamlin’s agent Ira Turner told NFL Network: ‘Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no update at this time. Will ask that you keep the family in your prayers.’

A statement released by the league read: ‘Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.

‘Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.’

Bills players were visibly praying for their teammate after he was driven away. According to ESPN, Hamlin’s family were watching the game and came down to be with him as he left in the ambulance.

During the lengthy ordeal, the ESPN Monday Night Football broadcast cut to commercial on four occasions as Hamlin was receiving treatment.

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Hamlin was given oxygen in the ambulance, and the game was initially suspended temporarily as both teams headed back to their respective locker rooms.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen  reacts to the injury of safety Damar Hamlin

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen  reacts to the injury of safety Damar Hamlin

Bills players watch on as Hamlin is taken into an ambulance and rushed to hospital

Bills players watch on as Hamlin is taken into an ambulance and rushed to hospital

Both sides appeared distressed by the situation, with the emotions of Hamlin’s teammates Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen among those shown on camera.

Emotions also ran high for ESPN’s broadcast crew, as analyst Booger McFarland offered an important bit of perspective.  

‘When you bring CPR out, you’re trying to help someone breathe. We’re talking life or death now,’ he said.

‘That’s real. What we do is just a game. When you involve life and death, it’s totally different.’

‘No one´s been through this,’ longtime NFL quarterback Troy Aikman added. ‘I’ve never seen anything like it, either.’

ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter weighed in as well, saying: ‘It is all about this young man and how he’s doing.

‘Everybody is thinking and praying for him, every team, every player, every individual, everybody who’s watching Monday night football, everybody who tuned in to see this highly anticipated game, nobody cares about that right now.’

Footage emerged later of Hamlin’s ambulance arriving at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

Isaiah McKenzie grabs his jersey as he reacts to Hamlin's injury

Isaiah McKenzie grabs his jersey as he reacts to Hamlin’s injury

Bills cornerback Siran Neal (33) and running back Nyheim Hines (20) embrace one another

Bills cornerback Siran Neal (33) and running back Nyheim Hines (20) embrace one another

Bills teammates prayed for Hamlin after the injury occurred

Bills teammates prayed for Hamlin after the injury occurred

The Bills' Ed Oliver reacts after teammate Hamlin is hurt in the first quarter of the game

The Bills’ Ed Oliver reacts after teammate Hamlin is hurt in the first quarter of the game

Hamlin briefly was on his feet after making the tackle but collapsed moments later

Hamlin briefly was on his feet after making the tackle but collapsed moments later

The 24-year-old Hamlin spent five years of college at Pitt — his hometown — and appeared in 48 games for the Panthers over that span. 

He was a second-team All-ACC performer as a senior, was voted a team captain and was picked to play in the Senior Bowl.

He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter this year once Micah Hyde was lost for the season to injury.

Entering the game, the 6-foot, 200-pound Hamlin had 91 tackles, including 63 solo tackles, and 1 1/2 sacks.

Hamlin started a toy drive back in December 2020 to purchase toys for children ahead of the holidays.

An hour after Hamlin was hurt, it had received donations totaling over $1million. 

‘Im praying for you and your family! Praying hard for a miracle! You have to come back and do bigger things! You aren’t done yet!!’ wrote one fan, who donated $150.

Another said: ‘Sending love and prayers from a Seahawks fan. We’re all a part of Bills nation tonight.’



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