Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest on field: Safety’s father updates team; President Biden reaches out

A scary and emotional scene unfolded early during Monday night’s game between the Bills and Bengals. With 5:58 remaining in the first quarter, Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed seconds after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. He received immediate medical attention on the field and was transported to the UC Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest following the hit with his heartbeat restored on the field, the Bills announced in a statement early Tuesday morning. The team further disclosed that Hamlin is “sedated and listed in critical condition.”

Buffalo does plan to practice for the first time since the incident on Thursday and, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has confirmed, Mario Hamlin, Damar’s father, addressed the team on Wednesday night and relayed a positive update on this son.

The frightening event sent shockwaves through, not only the sports world, but the world at large. This week, US President Joe Biden even spoke with Hamlin’s mother and father, via Bloomberg News. On Wednesday, the Bills gave an update on their player, saying Hamlin has shown some signs of improvement, but that he remains in critical condition:

“Damar remains in the ICU in critical condition with signs of improvement noted yesterday and overnight.

“He is expected to remain under intensive care as his health care team continues to monitor and treat him.”

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

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

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.

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

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

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

“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans around the country.

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

“Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release 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. It chose not to address a potential rescheduling of the game in a media call late Monday night. That decision will ultimately rest in the hands of commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Bills decided to fly back to Buffalo early Tuesday morning. Numerous members of the Bills and Bengals visited the hospital late Monday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Bills released the following statement:

Damar Hamlin spent last night in the intensive care unit and remains there today in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

We are grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we have received thus far.

Around 11:30 pm ET Monday, Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, provided a statement to NFL Media: “Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no update at this time. 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 appearing in 14 games as a rookie. Hamlin played collegiately at Pittsburgh, where he tallied 276 tackles and six interceptions.

Hamlin’s character and work ethic led to him making 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’s done a great job,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said of Hamlin during his rookie training camp. “He’s a very instinctive player. … He’s a great kid, he wants it, he’s working hard and he’s giving himself every chance to put himself in the mix despite being a sixth-round pick.”

Bengals owner Mike Brown released a statement, offering support and commenting on how everyone in the stadium handled the “unprecedented” and scary scene.

Hamlin’s injury has led to an outpouring of emotion and support throughout the sports world. Every NFL team has offered their thoughts via social media. Scores of players have also voiced their support for Hamlin and his Buffalo teammates.

CBS Sports will provide more information on Hamlin as soon as it is made available.

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