Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest: NFL addresses scary situation that resulted in Bills-Bengals ‘MNF’ postponement – CBSSports.com

Monday’s Week 17 finale between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals was supposed to be one of the biggest games of the season thus far. After all, both of these AFC clubs are among the favorites to win the Super Bowl and were set to clash in a prime-time affair that had legitimate playoff stakes — including the No. 1 seed in the conference and the AFC North title — hanging in the balance. 

For about half a quarter, we got that. That was until Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter following a tackle of Bengals wideout Tee Higgins

Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest following the hit with his heartbeat restored on the field, the Bills announced in a statement early Tuesday morning. Hamlin initially got up after the play, but then dropped to the field and required immediate medical attention. He was down on the ground for several minutes before being taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

In a statement later Monday night, the league noted Hamlin was in critical condition.

Hamlin’s scary injury led to both teams departing to the locker room following a discussion between head coaches Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor on the field. At just after 10 p.m. ET (roughly an hour following Hamlin’s collapse), the NFL announced that the game had been postponed.

The league then held a conference call with NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent and executive vice president of communications Jeff Miller, during which they detailed the process that led to the postponement and several other updates. Here are some of the most notable developments from the conference call: 

No update on the status of the game: Miller added that they would also not be relaying any updates for if/when this game will be resumed, nor the logistics behind the games scheduled for Buffalo and Cincinnati in Week 18. 

Vincent said neither head coach nor any player spoke about resuming the game (h/t NFL Media): “It was really about Damar. … Look, I’ve never seen anything like it, so immediately my player hat went on.”

Vincent denied the NFL proposed a five-minute warm-up period after Hamlin’s collapse that was mentioned on the broadcast (h/t CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones): “I’m not sure where that came from. Frankly, there was no time period for the players to get warmed up. Frankly, the only thing we asked was that [referee] Shawn [Smith] communicate with both coaches to make sure they had the proper time inside the locker room to discuss what they felt was best. So, I’m not sure where that came from, five-minute warmups. Never crossed my mind personally and I was the one — and I’m saying I not to be selfish — but the one that was communicating with the Commissioner. We never frankly, it never crossed our minds to warm up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. And that’s not a place that we should ever be in.”

NFL was listening through the ref’s microphone as he spoke with both coaches about going back to the locker room (h/t NFL Media): “It was fluid and things were changing by the minute. … Emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation.” 

Vincent on Zac Taylor and Sean McDermott (h/t NFL Media): “I commend both of those coaches. It’s a tough situation to go back in the locker room and look at 53 men and try to calm people down. It was obvious on the phone the emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation. The coaches led their locker room.”

Bills travel plans: Vincent said the Bills are returning to Buffalo on Monday night, but some players are choosing to remain in Cincinnati to be near Hamlin. 

This content was originally published here.

Share this story