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Damar Hamlin Remains in Critical Condition; Bills-Bengals Postponed Indefinitely

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and had his heartbeat restored on the field Monday night after getting hit in the chest in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals that was eventually postponed. Hamlin was sedated and in critical condition in the intensive care unit at a Cincinnati hospital, the team announced Tuesday.

“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time,” Hamlin’s family wrote in a statement. “We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from across the country.”

The NFL on Tuesday announced it would not resume the game this week, if at all.

Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told NFL Media that Hamlin is on a ventilator, but his breathing capacity has improved. He remains sedated.

Several NFL teams canceled their regular Tuesday media availability out of respect for Hamlin, including the Patriots, Eagles, Colts, Chiefs and Jaguars. The 32 teams all changed the avatars on their Twitter accounts to Hamlin’s No. 3.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was one of the few people within the league to speak publicly about Hamlin. At his media availability, he said it was personal with him because he is a “Pittsburgher and that young man being a Pittsburgher.”

“I’ve known that guy probably since he was about 12,” Tomlin said. “Just got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being. His commitment to the pursuit of his goals and dreams of doing what it is he’s doing right now, which is playing in the NFL, and to watch him make personal decisions and make that a realization, it’s just an honor to get to know young people like that. I had an opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him.”

Following his tackle of Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins with 5:58 to go in the first quarter in Monday night’s game, Hamlin immediately got to his feet only to fall backward onto the turf. Medical personnel administered CPR and oxygen for several minutes before he was taken from the field in an ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Before Hamlin was placed on a backboard and stretcher and loaded onto the ambulance, players from both teams gathered closely around their teammate, many kneeling in prayer. The Bills then collectively prayed on the field.

Bills coach Sean McDermott and Bengals coach Zach Taylor met at midfield before the decision was made to temporarily halt the game and send the teams to their locker rooms.

The coaches, game officials and a league official conferred over the next 30-plus minutes with league officials in New York before a determination was made to postpone the game until an undetermined date.

NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent spoke to reporters on a teleconference after midnight ET early Tuesday. He said most of the Bills team returned to Buffalo late Monday night, but some players chose to stay with Hamlin in Cincinnati.

Jordan Rooney, a representative on Hamlin’s marketing team, tweeted Monday night that Hamlin’s 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.”

Hamlin spent Monday night in the intensive care unit at the hospital, the Bills said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “We are grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we have received thus far,” the team said.

A sixth-round pick of the Bills in 2021 out of Pittsburgh, Hamlin became a starter in Buffalo this season when Micah Hyde suffered a neck injury in Week 2 that landed him on injured reserve. In 13 starts going into Monday night’s game, Hamlin had 91 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

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