Bengals Game Accident: Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, went into cardiac arrest during the Bengals-Bills game on Monday Night Football, shocking players, coaches, and fans alike. Suddenly, everyone was hoping Hamlin would get through the night.
Medical personnel worked to save Hamlin’s life on the field for over nine minutes by doing CPR and other treatments. The Bills reported that he was transferred to a hospital in Cincinnati and is currently in critical condition. His heartbeat was restored on the pitch; the team announced early Tuesday.
The horrific events unfolded in front of a sold-out crowd at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, and millions more at home who watched on television, many of whom spent Monday night sending well-wishes and prayers for Hamlin’s speedy recovery.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, the NFL had not announced a new date for the game, which had been postponed due to a medical issue. However, how the decision to pause the game was made has been called into doubt after initial reports from ESPN and others stated that the players had been urged to get ready to retake the field after Hamlin left in an ambulance.
Bengals Game Accident: Here’s A Timeline of The Events As They Unfolded:
At 8:56 p.m. ET, Hamlin took a smack to the chest after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins near midfield. Luke Jones, a reporter for the local TV station WKRC, and a liveblog from Sporting News both noted the moment.
The move didn’t seem out of the ordinary at first, as Hamlin rose and readjusted his facemask, but then he suddenly crumpled and fell backward into the turf. Several players and coaches took a knee as the seriousness of the situation became apparent, and medical staff hurried to aid Hamlin.
Injured with just under six minutes left in the first quarter, he had already missed significant playing time. During each injury timeout, the ESPN broadcast turned into a commercial. When the show resumed, viewers saw NFL players openly sobbing as paramedics tended to the injured player on the field.
Joe Buck, an ESPN announcer, was visibly surprised, along with the rest of the audience. Buck added at one point, “There’s just nothing to say right now,” The cameras showed Sean McDermott, Josh Allen, and Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills, their expressions wracked with sorrow and fear.
At 9 o’clock, local sports reporter Joe Danneman of FOX 19 in Cincinnati recorded a video of an ambulance fast reversing across the field toward Hamlin at Paycor Stadium. It’s a full-on assault on Damar Hamlin, according to Buck.
Medics worked on Hamlin for over 9 minutes, as observed by ESPN’s Lisa Salters from the sidelines. Buck verified that medical personnel had been administering CPR on Hamlin during the commercial breaks. Announcing that “the entire Bills squad is out on the field right now,” Salters stated.
Some players kneel while others hold hands in a prayer circle. You can tell they’re anxious by the expressions on their faces. Joe Burrow, the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, and some of his teammates were huddled together around midfield. Moments of stunned silence were followed by brief applause when Hamlin was finally carried out on a stretcher.
At 9:12 p.m., an ambulance reportedly transported Hamlin off the field. Danneman said that the ambulance waited in the parking lot so that Hamlin’s mother, who was at the game, could join her son in the ambulance.
Paul Dehner Jr., a reporter for The Athletic in Cincinnati, tweeted, “I have zero concepts of how someone is expected to continue playing this game.” “That was a truly terrifying sight.” Dehner also mentioned that officials talked with both coaches on the sidelines.
9:14 p.m. — ESPN’s Ben Baby reported that players were returning to the field and that play would resume. Burrow was observed practicing his passing while helmed. Then, however, Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor came across the area to talk to McDermott.
Buck explained the issue by saying, “They’ve been given 5 minutes to, quote-unquote, get ready to go back to playing.” That’s what the league and the players tell us, yet no one seems to be taking action. Dehner stated that the game was put on hold at 9:16 p.m.
Buck said, “Looks like Sean McDermott, after talking to Zac Taylor, is going to remove his squad off the field,” before the decision was announced to the crowd. The NFL officials then explained to Buck on air that they felt the clubs needed time to “regroup themselves.” The Bengals stated that the suspension would remain in effect “until further notification.”
9:29 p.m. — According to Danneman, “Zac Taylor just walked to the Bills locker room area and is waiting outside,” Afterward, Taylor and McDermott talked with the officials together. Jones said he got word at 9:30 p.m. that the ambulance carrying Hamlin had arrived at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
10 p.m. — According to the Sporting News, “We have just got confirmation the NFL has officially suspended this game.” In response to fans’ concerns over the game’s delayed restart, local TV station WCPO, broadcasting the match, pointed out that a five-minute warmup period is a usual routine following most delays.
The station reported that their respective teams returned to the locker rooms after a meeting between the two head coaches, Zac Taylor and Sean McDermott. They were overheard on the phone passing back and forth while meeting with the game referees in the passageway connecting the two locker rooms. When the league received the call, they quickly declared a permanent suspension of games.
Before the official suspension of play, the station reported that Burrow and other Bengals players had left the home locker room to join the Bills players in the visitors’ facilities. Buffalo Bills linebacker Damar Hamlin collapsed during Monday night’s game, prompting supporters to hold a vigil outside the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
10:01 p.m. — The NFLPA is “praying for Damar Hamlin,” as the union put it. The NFLPA has been in touch with players from the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. That Damar is healthy and safe is the only thing that matters now.
At 10:07 p.m., NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy tweeted that the league “has been in continual touch with the NFL Players Association, which is agreeable with postponing the game.” This followed a decision by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to postpone the game.
12:17 a.m. A Tuesday — In a postgame conference call with media, NFL EVP of Football Operations Troy Vincent reportedly stated that despite rumors, the league never attempted to restart the game. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported this.
Vincent reportedly told Garafolo, “there was no period for the guys to get warmed up.” We never even considered the possibility of talking about getting warmed up and getting back into the game. It’s absurd to think that. To say such a thing is insensitive is an understatement. We have no business being there.
1:48 a.m. On Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills released the following statement regarding Hamlin’s health: After taking a hit against the Bengals, Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest. After his heart was started again on the field, he was taken to the UC Medical Center. Presently, he is under sedation and in severe condition.
1:34 p.m. A Tuesday — In a statement released on the 18th and final week of the NFL season, the league said that the Bills-Bengals game would not be continued at this time and that “no decision on the probable resumption of the game at a later date” had been made.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.