Buffalo Safety Damar Hamlin in Critical Condition After Heart Attack on the Field

Buffalo Safety Damar Hamlin in Critical Condition After Heart Attack on the Field


During the Bengals/Bills games on Monday night, Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered a heart attack during the course of play. The event occurred after he tackled Tee Higgins at high speed, striking Higgins with his chest, which may have caused an arrhythmia that resulted in Hamlin collapsing on the field.

The sudden collapse immediately stopped play, and both teams refused to continue the game after Hamlin was treated on the field and rushed to the hospital. He is in critical condition as of the time of this writing and reportedly has a pulse but is struggling to breathe on his own.

The Incident

Hamlin collapsed midway through the first quarter of Monday night’s game after a particularly rough collision with Tee Higgins. After the two sprung up from the impact, Hamlin promptly collapsed back to the ground, seemingly losing consciousness almost immediately upon getting to his feet. 

Trainers tended to him within ten seconds of his collapse, administering CPR and oxygen. Sixteen minutes later, he was rushed to the nearest hospital via ambulance. He is currently in critical condition and under sedation as doctors work to restore his normal heartbeat. 

Postponing the Game

The on-air broadcast continued for over an hour after Hamlin’s collapse. The play-by-play commentators tried to offer some context for what was happening, but it was still an unusual scenario. Monday Night Football is a huge television event every week during the NFL season, so some spectators believed that the network and league were hesitant to postpone the game–especially this late in the season. 

Either way, after players from both teams, refused to continue playing while Hamlin’s condition was unstable, the league and officials on the field agreed to postpone the match. Given that the game’s outcome could dramatically shift the regular season’s final standings, this could cause further delays into the post-season, depending on when the two teams can resume the match.

Public Statements

“Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available,” the NFL said in a statement Monday night. “The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.”

The Player’s Association also released a statement, noting that Hamlin’s health is the top priority. “The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin,” the union publicly stated. “We have been in touch with Bills and Bengals players, and with the NFL. The only thing that matters at this moment is Damar’s health and well-being.”