CINCINNATI, Ohio — A Monday night game that started with a playoff atmosphere between two of the top teams in the NFL quickly turned frightening for one of the competitors on the field at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.
An ambulance was needed to help Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin after the 24-year-old made a routine tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, stood up, and then collapsed after taking a couple of steps during the first quarter of his team’s game against the Bengals.
Trainers immediately worked on Hamlin as play stopped with about six minutes remaining in the opening period.
The moment took a turn when, according to the ESPN game broadcast, CPR was administered on Hamlin. Many of his teammates and the players of the opposing side gathered and hoped for the best for the fallen competitor.
He was then driven off the field and out to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
It wasn’t immediately disclosed during the Monday Night Football simulcast what exactly happened or what his condition is, but officials and both head coaches agreed to temporarily suspend play about 23 minutes after Hamlin went down. Both teams returned to their locker rooms.
The NFL officially suspended the game for the night, but a resumption was not immediately reported. The league also stated his condition as critical.
The NFL wrote in a statement:
“Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced.
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.”
Hamlin was selected by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh.
NFL circle reacts to Hamlin
The Bills immediately sent their well-wishes to their star.
“The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar,” the Bills tweeted.
The Bills went on to repost the photo but with tweets from around the league, wishing Hamlin health.
One of those reactions came from J.J. Watt, who made a point that the game takes a backseat to real life.
“The game is not important. Damar Hamlin’s life is important. Please be ok. Please,” Cardinals star J.J. Watt tweeted.
Pittsburgh Steelers great Ryan Shazier, whose own career was cut short due to an on-field injury, gave his well-wishes.
“Prayers for Hamlin. I hope everything is okay,” Shazier tweeted.
Hamlin-backed fundraising drive attracts hundreds of thousands of dollars
Hamlin appears to be following in the charitable path that many of his fellow NFL players before him paved.
If there was anything positive that has come of a terrifying situation, it’s the fans getting behind his fundraiser.
A GoFundMe page dedicated to a holiday toy drive for his hometown in Pennsylvania went from $2,500 collected to exponentially more. By late Monday night, nearly $800,000 were raised.
This content was originally published here.