CINCINNATI (WXIX) — The Bengals-Bills game is officially postponed after a Bills player was defibrillated following his sudden collapse on the field at Paycor Stadium.
A source told FOX19 that the Bills player, 24-year-old Damar Hamlin, has been intubated and is in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
News of the game’s postponement came minutes after Bengals head coach Zac Taylor entered the Bills’ locker room and then came out to speak with Bills head coach Sean McDermott.
MORE | Players, teams and fans are praying for Damar Hamlin | Donations Go to Hamlin’s Foundation: “Cincinnati Supports You”
The Bills are flying home Monday night. The team’s buses left Paycor Stadium at approximately 12:20 p.m. for Lunken Airport on the east side of Cincinnati.
Some Bills players have chosen to remain in Cincinnati.
Impressive images of the prayer circle for Damar Hamlin in front of the UC Medical Center. Blue and orange colors flicker together in the candlelight. There’s shock, heartbreak, and an undeniable sense of trauma. Everyone hopes and prays that good news will come in the morning. pic.twitter.com/HRyXsaHQo1
— FOX19 NOW (@FOX19) January 3, 2023
No media availability or further comment from the teams tonight.
A spokesman for UC Health confirms the hospital will not comment either.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent and executive vice president of communications Jeff Miller spoke to reporters on a conference call after midnight.
Vincent said that none of the head coaches thought about resuming play and the players were never asked to warm up after play was suspended.
He explained that the decision to postpone the game was a decision made jointly by the head coaches and players.
“Honestly, the competitive aspect never crossed my mind,” he said. “[It] never occurred to us internally.”
Miller said he’s “never seen anything like it” since playing. “Immediately my gamer’s hat went up.”
No executive would discuss the status of the game.
“There’s nothing contemplated right now,” Miller said. “Our concern is for the player and his well-being. I’m sure we’ll have a conversation about next steps regarding the game in due course.”
From Damar Hamlin’s agent Ira Turner of @Agency1AMG:
“Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no update. Will ask you to keep the family in your prayers.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2023
The NFL Players’ Association issued the following statement, according to ESPN Adam Scherter:
“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.”
The NFL’s full statement is below.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was injured in the first quarter of Monday night’s game.
Hamlin appeared to suffer an injury when he hit Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin got up and stood for a few moments, but then collapsed without attempting to break his fall.
First responders “desperately” performed CPR for “many minutes,” according to announcer Joe Buck.
He fell at 8:53 p.m. and remained down for more than 15 minutes.
Hamlin was given oxygen, placed on a stretcher, hooked up to an IV and eventually carried to an ambulance that had entered the field.
The ambulance stayed in the tunnel as Hamlin’s mother came down from her seat in the stands.
According to FOX19’s Joe Danneman, Hamlin got a pulse again but was no longer breathing on his own. He required the use of an automated external defibrillator in the field.
The ambulance drove to the UCMC with a police escort.
This scene is absolutely terrifying. Everyone out there is emotional right now. So creepy.
— Paul Dehner Jr (@pauldehnerjr) January 3, 2023
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