The NFL has canceled the game for the evening. Hamlin was injured when he tackled Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins early in the first quarter. He quickly re-emerged before collapsing to the ground. As Hamlin was loaded into an ambulance, medical personnel performed CPR and appeared to give him oxygen.
The 6’0″, 200-pound player has rushed two miles away to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. According to ESPN, his parents, Nina and Mario, were brought down from the stands to accompany him in the ambulance.
“His vitals are back to normal,” his marketing representative Jordan Rooney said on Twitter an hour and a half after the collapse. Hamlin is reportedly intubated and doctors are running tests, but “his vitals are back to normal,” Rooney said an hour and a half after the collapse.
Update on Damar:
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.
— Jordon Rooney (@jordonr) January 3, 2023
Players from both teams kneeled on the field as medical personnel worked on Hamlin, with several Bills players crying. The NFL decided to suspend the game for the night an hour after his collapse.
“Tonight’s Buffalo Bills/Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin collapsed,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a statement. “Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by the 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 with the Buffalo Bills.” “This is about Damar Hamlin,” former NFL player and ESPN commentator, Ryan Clark, said during the broadcast. “It was about a young man at 24 years old living his dream…and now he fights for his life.”
After playing for the University of Pittsburgh, Hamlin, from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He started at Pitt for three years and led the team with 67 tackles and seven pass breakups.
Hamlin has started for the Bills since Week 2 when he took over for injured safety Micah Hyde. According to the Bills, Hamlin wanted to start a charity as soon as he graduated from college and joined the NFL, which led to the formation of The Chasing M’s Foundation. In 2020, he launched the charity with a fundraiser that provided toys to Kelly and Nina’s Daycare Center in his hometown.
“The idea popped into my head right after Clemson week,” Hamlin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the time. “It sparked a thought in my head. But I actually couldn’t do anything until after my eligibility was done as far as GoFundMe and all that … This was all able to happen in that short amount of time.
That just goes to show the support that the town, the city, all of Pitt fans, and the University of Pittsburgh, everyone that grew up watching me and knew my story personally and have been a part of it, that’s just a testament to how much they support me.”