CINCINNATI — Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and was taken off it in an ambulance after receiving treatment for over 10 minutes, which resulted in the game between Buffalo and the Cincinnati Bengals being suspended until further notice Monday night.
CPR was administered to Hamlin on the field for multiple minutes after he collapsed on the field following a play in the first quarter. He appeared to be receiving oxygen as he was placed in the ambulance and taken off the field some 16 minutes after he collapsed.
The injury took place after Hamlin tackled wide receiver Tee Higgins and quickly got up afterward. Hamlin then abruptly collapsed, with athletic trainers coming to help immediately. A stretcher was immediately brought to the field as athletic trainers protected his head.
The entire Bills sideline surrounded Hamlin as he received care. Multiple Bills players were visibly distressed and comforting each other as he was cared to. Many players turned away from watching Hamlin in distress.
The first attempt to move Hamlin resulted in him being brought back down onto the field, but he was ultimately placed into an ambulance, which left the stadium at about 9:25 p.m. ET. Hamlin’s family came down from the stands to be with him in the ambulance.
After Hamlin exited the field, Bills players knelt together in a circle and then returned to the sideline, with the defense heading back on the field to resume play. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs called everyone over for a word.
However, instead of resuming play, Bengals coach Zac Taylor walked over to Bills counterpart Sean McDermott and met with game officials present. The decision was then made to pause the game — which the Bengals were leading 7-3 — some 21 minutes after the injury.
Hamlin was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft out of Pittsburgh, with the Bills taking him with the No. 212 overall pick.
One of the nation’s top cornerbacks in the class of 2016 out of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Hamlin chose to play for Pitt over Ohio State and Penn State. He delivered, becoming a three-year starter and the most reliable player on a defense that required much from him at the safety position.
In his final season at Pitt in 2020, Hamlin was a second-team All-ACC selection, leading the Panthers with 67 tackles and seven pass breakups. After Hamlin was drafted, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi told WGRZ-TV: “He’s got that heart. He’s got the leadership. I mean, our entire defense revolved around him. Damar will go up there, show his skills off. I think he’s so versatile.”
Hamlin has been starting for the Bills this season in place of injured safety Micah Hyde, who suffered a neck injury in Week 2 and has been on injured reserve since.
In that same Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans, Hamlin’s close friend and former college teammate, Bills cornerback Dane Jackson, was taken off the field with a neck injury. He missed one game.