9:21 p.m. ET
CINCINNATI — Bill’s safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, was administered CPR and then taken away by ambulance, resulting in the game between Buffalo and the Cincinnati Bengals being suspended around 10 p.m. ET Monday night.
There was no immediate word from the Bills about his condition.
In a chilling scene that broke the showdown between two of the NFL’s top teams, Hamlin was resuscitated on the field for several minutes after collapsing on the field after a game in the first quarter. According to the ESPN show, he was given oxygen when he was taken to the ambulance and taken off the field and driven to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center about 16 minutes after his collapse.
The injury came after Hamlin tackled wide receiver Tee Higgins and quickly got up afterwards. Hamlin then collapsed abruptly, and athletic trainers immediately came to help. A stretcher was immediately brought onto the field while athletic trainers protected his head.
The entire Bills sideline surrounded Hamlin as he received treatment. Several Bills players were visibly distraught and comforted each other while he dealt with it. Many players turned away from seeing Hamlin in distress.
The first attempt to move Hamlin resulted in him being taken back onto the field, but he was eventually placed in an ambulance, which left the stadium at around 9:25 p.m. ET. Hamlin’s family came down from the stands to be with him in the ambulance.
After Hamlin left the field, Bills’ players knelt in a circle and then returned to the sidelines while the defense returned to the field to continue play. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs called everyone out for a word. But instead of restarting play, Bengals coach Zac Taylor went to see Bill’s counterpart Sean McDermott and met with the game officials in attendance. The decision was then made to suspend play – which the Bengals were leading 7-3 – some 21 minutes after the injury.
Hamlin was selected from Pittsburgh in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft with the Bills tying him No. 212 overall.
Hamlin, one of the nation’s top cornerbacks in the Class of 2016 from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, chose to play for Pitt over Ohio State and Penn State. He delivered and became a three-year starter and the most reliable player in a defense that was demanding on him from the safety position.
In his final season with Pitt in 2020, Hamlin was a second-team All-ACC selection and led the Panthers with 67 tackles and seven pass separations. After Hamlin was drafted, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi told WGRZ-TV, “He’s got this heart. He’s in charge. I mean, our entire defense revolved around him. Damar will go up there and show off his skills. I think he’s so versatile.”
Hamlin started for the Bills this season in place of injured safety Micah Hyde, who sustained a neck injury in Week 2 and has been on injured reserve ever since.
In the same week two game against the Tennessee Titans, Hamlin’s close friend and former college teammate, Bill’s cornerback Dane Jackson, was pulled off the field with a neck injury. He missed a game.