Damar Hamlin received CPR after collapsing during Monday Night Football at Paycor Stadium in Ohio. Hamlin, 24, was in action for the Buffalo Bills as they took on the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills star safety tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, 23, in the first quarter and got up briefly before falling back to the ground after adjusting his headgear.
Hamlin was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Centre at 9.25pm (2.25am GMT) after medical officials administered CPR on the field.
Medical staff gave the Buffalo Bills player CPR for around ten minutes after he suddenly fell to the floor when the tackle impacted his chest.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast cut to commercial breaks on four occasions as Hamlin received treatment.
In a statement, the National Football League (NFL) revealed Hamlin was in a “critical condition”.
The NFL said: “Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics.
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“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.”
Local sports reporter Joe Danneman also wrote on Twitter that he was told Hamlin “has a pulse, but is not breathing on his own”.
A source close to the situation provided a statement just over an hour after he was taken to hospital.
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Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s friend and marketing representative, said: “His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat.
“They are currently running tests. We will provide updates as we have them.”
Head coach Sean McDermott, 48, led the team in prayer as the ambulance escorted Hamlin off the field.
Many of Hamlin’s Buffalo Bills teammates were reduced to tears and the game was suspended in the first quarter.
Buffalo Bills also offered their support to Hamlin on social media.
In a Twitter post, the New York-based side said: “The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar.”
Hamlin’s family came down from the stands to be with him in the ambulance, according to ESPN.
NFL games are rarely suspended because of injury and it is unclear if players will return to the field and complete the game.
The scenes have been compared to when Christian Eriksen, 30, shocked soccer supporters during UEFA’s European Championships in 2020 after he collapsed following a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s 1-0 defeat against Finland.
Manchester United’s play-making midfielder, who previously played for Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan, survived the ordeal and returned to the playing field in 2022 when he signed for Brentford.