Monday night’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals came to a grinding halt after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. Mid-way through the first quarter, Damar, 24, tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, but upon rising up from the hit, he fell to the ground unconscious, as reported by ESPN.
Bills safety Damar Hamlin remained down on the field after a scary hit.
According to the broadcast, medical personnel have administered CPR. pic.twitter.com/JKCWmfzaLT
— ESPN (@espn) January 3, 2023
Medical personnel rushed to the field and he was administered CPR, before being given oxygen and taken to the hospital. Game play was temporarily suspended at 9:18 pm before the game was officially postponed by the league at 10:01 pm EST. Not long after, the NFL revealed he was in “critical condition” in a statement.
While we wait to learn more about the pro football player’s health, here are five things to know about Damar Hamlin.
1. He collapsed after a major block
Damar fell after tackling wide receiver Tee Higgins at 8:55 pm, with 5:38 remaining in the first quarter. Though he initially seemed to be fine, he then collapsed to the turf unconscious.
He was down on the field for over 9 minutes, during which time he was administered CPR and given oxygen. Around 16 minutes after the injury, he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center’s level 1 trauma center at 9:25 pm, per ESPN.
The league released a statement about an hour after the incident. It said, “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.”
2. His team and family are supporting him
After the incident, his family, who was in the crowd watching, came down from the stands to be with him on the field, according to ABC. His teammates also surrounded him as he received care. After some time with medical personnel, Damar’s mother accompanied him to the hospital in an ambulance.
Following his collapse, Bills coach Sean McDermott, quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs appeared tearful as they waited for updates. The team gathered on the field, and they were briefly prepped to resume play before the coaches and officials decided to suspend the game. Players then cleared the field.
At the time, the Bengals were winning 7 to 3. It was the second to last game of regular season play for the two already-playoff-bound teams.
3. He is in his second year of pro football
Damar was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, putting him at 212th overall. He signed his four-year rookie contract with Buffalo on May 21, 2021.
After playing a reserve role his rookie season, Damar became one of the Bills’ starting safeties following Micah Hyde’s season-ending neck injury during week 2. This season he’d played 16 games, recorded 91 tackles, and 1.5 sacks.
4. He grew up playing in Pennsylvania
Damar grew up in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, and attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic. During his high school career, he was named first-team All-State and the Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year.
He went on to play for University of Pittsburgh, where as a late-debuting freshman player recorded 41 tackles with one interception in nine games played. After three strong years of play, he was named a team captain going into his final season.
5. He founded his own charity
After getting drafted, Damar focused on how he could help his community. During his first season, he founded the Chasing M’s Foundation.
In a GoFundMe for the project, reported by ABC 7, he wrote, “As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me. I created The Chasing M’s Foundation as a vehicle that will allow me to deliver that impact.” The foundation’s inaugural project was a holiday toy drive that raised over $390k.
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