What happened to Damar Hamlin, the NFL player who collapsed on field?
NFL player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during a game on Jan. 2.
Buffalo Bills safety collapsed on the field shortly after a tackle during the clash with the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.
Team and independent medical personnel, along with local paramedics, performed CPR and restored Hamlin’s heartbeat before he was transported in an ambulance from the field and on to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The Bills later confirmed he was sedated and listed “in critical condition.” The next day, Hamlin’s family explained that while he is still in critical condition in intensive care, he is at least “trending up” and that the good news was repeated on Jan. 4 with an update saying he was in “move in a positive direction”. .
There were further updates on Jan. 5 when the Bills released a statement saying Hamlin had “shown remarkable improvement” and was “neurologically sound,” and his teammate Kaiir Elam went on to say that the 24-year-old Security guard “awake” at the hospital, while other reports said he had opened his eyes and grabbed the hands of those close to him.
Hamlin’s teammates were visibly emotional as he was initially treated on the field with several including star wide receiver Stefon Diggs staying behind to be with him when the team returned to New York in the early hours of Jan. 3.
Fans of both teams gathered in front of the hospital, holding lit candles and praying.
The game, pivotal in the AFC playoff race with just one week left of the regular season, was postponed and the NFL confirmed it will not be played.
What happened to Damar Hamlin?
Hamlin was injured while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of the game in what appeared to be a routine game that didn’t appear unusually violent.
Higgins ran with the ball on a 13-yard pass from Joe Burrow when he led with his right shoulder and hit Hamlin in the chest.
Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins’ shoulders and helmet to pull him down. Hamlin stood up quickly, seemed to be adjusting his face mask with his right hand, then fell back about three seconds later and lay motionless.
Hamlin was down for 19 minutes while receiving medical attention. Local reports in Cincinnati said Hamlin required an automated external defibrillator (AED) in addition to CPR on the field.
What did the NFL and teams say?
A statement from Bills said: “Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after scoring in our game against the Bengals.
“His heartbeat was restored in the field and he was transferred to UC Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment. He is currently sedated and in critical condition.”
In another statement, the NFL said, “Hamlin received immediate on-field medical attention from a team and independent medical personnel and local paramedics.
“He was then taken to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.”
A statement from the NFL Players Association said: “The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin.
“We’ve been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, as well as the NFL. The only thing that matters right now is Damar’s health and well-being.”
Jordon Rooney, Damar Hamlin’s friend and marketing rep, released a statement Tuesday on behalf of the Hamlin family.
“On behalf of our family, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans across the country.
“We also want to recognize the dedicated first responders and medical professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who provide exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be a part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support.
“We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us.
“Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as soon as we have them.”
About a week after his injury, Hamlin left the Cincinnati hospital and continued his recovery in Buffalo. He is now continuing his recovery at home, with Hamlin showing remarkable progress on the field in the days and weeks following his cardiac arrest.
What about players?
Higgins, the player Hamlin attacked, tweeted: “My prayers and thoughts go out to HamlinIsland, the Hamlin family. I pray you make it through, brother. Love.” Higgins added a prayer and a blue heart emoji.
Bill’s quarterback Josh Allen said on his personal Twitter account, “Please pray for our brother.”
Arizona Cardinals’ JJ Watt, three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tweeted, “The game doesn’t matter. Damar Hamlin’s life is important. please be ok You’re welcome.”
Basketball star LeBron James also offered prayers to Hamlin following the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Charlotte Hornets Monday night.
James said: “My thoughts and super prayers go to heaven for this kid’s family, for him, for this fraternity of the NFL and for all members of the NFL family.
“It was definitely the right call to sit out that game. Player safety in all sports is always the most important thing.
“It was a horrible thing to see and I wish this kid all the best for the city of Buffalo, the Bills franchise, the rest of the NFL and the Bengals who played in this game.”
Why did the NFL take so long to postpone the game?
It took the NFL about an hour after Hamlin’s collapse to officially suspend the game as league executives gathered information and communicated with umpire Shawn Smith, coaches from both teams and the NFL Players Association.
Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, said the NFL’s contingency plan of action has been activated. Vincent spoke with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players Association.
Dawn Aponte, the league’s head of football administration, was at the game and spoke with Bills coach Sean McDermott and Bengals coach Zac Taylor, as well as the referee.
“It was fluid and things changed by the minute,” Vincent said. “On the phone you noticed that the emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation.”
Vincent refuted ESPN’s broadcast report that both teams were allowed a five-minute warm-up period to resume play.
“I’m not sure where that came from,” Vincent said. “It never occurred to us to talk about warming up to get the game back on. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. This is not a place we should ever be.”
What is Hamlin’s background?
Hamlin spent five years in college in Pittsburgh — his hometown — appearing in 48 games for the Panthers during that span. As a senior, he was a second-team All-ACC player, was elected team captain, and was selected to the Senior Bowl.
Hamlin, drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter that season after usual starter Micah Hyde was injured.
In 2020, Hamlin began organizing an annual Christmas toy drive in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. As of Wednesday morning, a community toy drive organized by Hamlin had passed the $5.5 million (£4.6 million) donation mark and was approaching $6 million. His stated goal was $2,500.
Several notable names from the NFL world have contributed, including Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, who donated $10,000 (£8,300). Other big donations include £18,000 from Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots, £12,000 from LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and the largest single donation to date of $20,000 from Jason Hanold.
Bill’s offensive lineman Rodger Saffold described Hamlin as a “kind, caring, extremely hard worker” in a post on Twitter. Saffold wrote that Hamlin was “loyal, honest and always able to put a smile on your face. He’s more than an athlete, he’s a son and brother.”
Will the NFL postpone the game?
The Bengals vs. Bills game has a big impact on the playoffs. Both teams are fighting for the AFC No. The Bills (12-3) came into play in first place while the Bengals (11-4) had a chance to take down the AFC North with a win and along with Kansas City (13-3).
The Bengals were leading 7-3 in the first quarter when play was halted.
The NFL confirmed the game would not be played.
A league statement said: “After speaking with both teams and NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell notified clubs today that Bills-Bengals play will not resume. Eventually, the NFL said the game would not be rescheduled.
On Saturday, November 14, Hamlin was reunited with his teammates in Buffalo for the first time since collapsing on the field. Hamlin cheered on the team from home in Buffalo on Jan. 15.