Bills player collapses, gets CPR before leaving field in ambulance during Monday Night Football game

Damar Hamlin, 24, collapsed on field after tackle

CINCINNATI – The Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals was postponed after a player collapsed and received CPR on the field.

Buffalo defensive back Damar Hamlin, a 24-year-old from Pennsylvania, tackled Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins at 8:55 p.m. Monday (Jan. 2) -- about nine minutes into the game.

After the play, Hamlin stood up briefly before collapsing on the field. The game was halted while trainers and medical staff members surrounded him and administered CPR.

ESPN also reported that Hamlin received oxygen.

An ambulance was brought onto the field for Hamlin, and he left around 9:25 p.m.

Buffalo Bills players react after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (2023 Getty Images)

“No one’s been through this,” former NFL quarterback Troy Aikman said on the ESPN broadcast. “I’ve never seen anything like it, either.”

Once Hamlin had been driven off the field, teams were initially told play would resume after five minutes of warmups. Visibly emotional players and coaches quickly agreed to suspend the game around 9:15 p.m. The NFL announced at 10 p.m. that the game had been officially postponed.

Around 10:30 p.m., ESPN’s Coley Harvey reported that Hamlin was in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital.

Hamlin spent five years at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a second-team All-ACC honoree and team captain as a senior. He was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round in 2021.

As a starter this season, Hamlin entered Monday’s game with 91 tackles.

Hamlin’s toy drive, The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations since the game was halted. You can click here to visit the fundraiser and donate.

Here is the official statement from the NFL:

Here is the official statement from the NFL Players Association:

Current and former players around the league have tweeted their prayers and support for Hamlin.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.