Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest on field vs. Bengals: Family releases statement; safety ‘fighting’

A chilling and emotional scene unfolded early in Monday night’s game between the Bills and the Bengals. With 5:58 remaining in the first quarter, Bills safety Damar Hamlin crumbled after getting up after a tackle from Bengals wide receivers Tee Higgins. After making the tackle, Hamlin got up to suddenly fall to the ground. He received immediate medical attention on the ground and was transported to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Hamlin, 24, suffered cardiac arrest as a result of the hit with his heart rate restored on the court, the Bills said in a statement early Tuesday morning. The team further revealed that Hamlin was “sedated and listed in critical condition.”

“Monday Night Football” between Buffalo and Cincinnati was officially postponed by the NFL shortly after 10 p.m. ET. The league released the following statement:

Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after the Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced.

Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the ground from an independent medical team and personnel and local paramedics. He was later 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 is in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which has agreed to postpone the game.

Hamlin received CPR in the field for several minutes while being placed on a stretcher and eventually into an ambulance. He was given oxygen as he entered the ambulance, which transported him and his family members to hospital.

On Tuesday morning, family spokesman Jordon Rooney provided an update on Hamlin: “I can’t speak specifically to his medical condition. All I will say is that he is fighting. C “He’s a fighter. … The family is in good spirits. We’re honestly, I’m taking it minute by minute, hour by hour. … What’s most important is giving the family their privacy. … His family going through a lot right now.

Hamlin’s family issued the following press release Tuesday morning:

“On behalf of our family, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support extended to Damar during this difficult time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans across the country.

“We also want to thank the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who provided Damar with exceptional care. We feel so lucky to be part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to “have their support. We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for all they have done.”

“Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will post updates as soon as we have them.”

Monday’s game was temporarily suspended after coaches Sean McDermott of the Bills and Zac Taylor of the Bengals spoke on the field. About an hour later, the NFL decided to postpone the game. He opted not to discuss a possible rescheduling of the game during a media call on Monday evening. That decision will ultimately rest in the hands of commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Bills decided to return to Buffalo early Tuesday morning. Many members of the Bills and Bengals checked into the hospital late Monday night.

At around 11:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, issued a statement to NFL Media“Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no updates at this time. We will ask that you keep the family in your prayers.”

Hamlin is in the middle of his second season with the Bills. He earned a spot in Buffalo’s starting lineup this season after playing 14 games as a rookie. Hamlin played collegiate in Pittsburgh, where he had 276 tackles and six interceptions.

Hamlin’s character and the work ethic got him on the Bills’ 53-man roster as a rookie despite being a Day 3 draft pick. That same work ethic helped him become a starter this season.

“Damar did a great job,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said of Hamlin during his rookie training camp. “He’s a very instinctive player. … He’s a great boy, he wants it, he works hard and he gives himself every chance to get in on the action despite being a sixth-round pick round.”

Hamlin’s injury has caused an outpouring of emotion and support in the sports world. Every NFL team shared their thoughts via social media. Dozens of players also expressed their support for Hamlin and his Buffalo teammates.

CBS Sports will provide more information on Hamlin as it becomes available.

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