CINCINNATI (WIVB) — Monday night’s Bills game against the Cincinnati Bengals was called off for the remainder of the night after Bills safety Damar Hamlin was taken off of the field in an ambulance following a hit on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of Monday night’s game.
According to a statement from the NFL on Tuesday, Hamlin, 24, is in critical condition at a local hospital. He had gone into cardiac arrest during the game.
Tuesday evening, Hamlin’s uncle told News 4’s Josh Reed that Hamlin is now down to 50% oxygen after being on 100% oxygen initially. He said that the family is hanging in there and thanked fans and asked for continued prayers.
The following morning, ESPN’s Coley Harvey reported doctors received “promising readings” overnight that they had been hoping to see. Harvey said progress appears to have been made, however Hamlin is still sedated and in critical condition in the ICU.
The NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe on Wednesday spoke with Hamlin’s associate Jordon Rooney, who said things are moving in a positive direction.
Wednesday afternoon, the Buffalo Bills provided another update, saying “Damar remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted yesterday and overnight. He is expected to remain under intensive care as his health care team continues to monitor and treat him.”
With 5:58 remaining in the first quarter of Monday night’s game, Hamlin delivered the hit on Higgins. He got up and then a few seconds later, collapsed on the field and wasn’t appearing to be moving. He was later taken out in an ambulance. ESPN commentators reported that medical personnel was giving him CPR on the field.
Multiple Bills players appeared to be emotional on the field during the ordeal.
“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,” the NFL said in a statement on Monday night.
The Buffalo Bills also released a statement.
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in the Buffalo Bills’ game versus the Cincinnati Bengals,” the statement read. “His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”
The Bills provided another update Tuesday in which they said Hamlin spent the night in the intensive care unit and remains there in critical condition.
This is now the second time a Bills player has had to be taken off the field in an ambulance this season. In Week 2 against Tennessee, cornerback Dane Johnson had to be taken out in an ambulance after a neck injury.
The team’s plane returned to Western New York early Tuesday morning, shortly before 3 a.m. A heavy police presence and caution tape kept fans from surrounding the area when the Bills arrived.
Hamlin’s family released a statement Tuesday morning via Jordon Rooney:
On behalf of our family, we want 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 around the country.
We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be 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.”The Hamlin Family
The NFL announced in a statement Tuesday that the resumption of the Bills-Bengals game will not take place this week, and that the league has made no decision regarding a resumption at a later date. Additionally, the NFL has made no changes to its Week 18 schedule.
“The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well-being,” the NFL Player’s Association said in a statement Monday.
“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,” Hamlin’s agent Ira Turner said.
Fans have already begun to donate to Hamlin’s charity, The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive. As of Tuesday morning, more than $3 million has been donated. You can make a donation by clicking/tapping here.
Hamlin is in his second season with the Bills after being drafted in the 6th round of the NFL draft in 2021.
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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.