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Damar Hamlin: Buffalo Bills player in critical condition in hospital after cardiac arrest on field during game against Cincinnati Bengals | NFL News

Damar Hamlin remains in a critical condition in hospital

Damar Hamlin remains in a critical condition in hospital

NFL player Damar Hamlin remains in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during the game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, but his condition is “moving in a positive direction”, according to his marketing representative and friend, Jordan Rooney.

Rooney, speaking to the NFL Network on Wednesday, also clarified that Hamlin was “resuscitated once”, on the field. Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn, had told CNN on Tuesday evening that his nephew had been resuscitated a second time at the hospital.

“Right now things are moving in a positive direction,” Rooney said.

“There’s not clarity at this point about how long it’s going to take and where things are going to go. For the family, it’s just a matter of seeing more positive signs and hopefully building on that.”

The 24-year-old Bills defensive back had briefly got to his feet after making what appeared to be a routine tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins during Monday’s game but then collapsed to the ground.

The game in Cincinnati was halted as medical staff quickly attended to him and administered CPR for approximately 10 minutes before he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Glenn, speaking earlier on Wednesday to NFL Network reporter Cameron Wolfe, said: “They’re trying to get his lungs back to full strength.

“He was 100 per cent assisted by ventilators [Tuesday]. He’s improved, up to 50 per cent. That’s an upward trend and we’re thankful for that.”

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Hamlin’s family said they would provide updates on his wellbeing “as soon as we have them”.

“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,” said the family’s statement, which was released via Hamlin’s agent.

“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.”

The Bills, who had confirmed Hamlin’s cardiac arrest in a statement late on Monday night, issued a follow-up statement on Tuesday which stated: “We are grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we have received thus far.”

Niagara Falls, Old County Hall and Peace Bridge in Buffalo City are lit in blue in support of Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during the game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals

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Niagara Falls, Old County Hall and Peace Bridge in Buffalo City are lit in blue in support of Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during the game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals

Niagara Falls, Old County Hall and Peace Bridge in Buffalo City are lit in blue in support of Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during the game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals

Will the postponed match be replayed?

The NFL announced a full postponement to the Bengals-Bills game just after 10pm local time on Monday evening, 90 minutes following kick-off.

After Hamlin exited the field in an ambulance, it looked briefly as if play might resume before Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and Bills counterpart Sean McDermott met with game officials and the decision was made to pause proceedings. The Bengals had been leading 7-3 with five minutes and 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The NFL has since informed the Bills and Bengals that the suspended game will not resume this week, while the Week 18 schedule remains unchanged.

The league said in a statement on Tuesday: “The NFL continues to be in regular contact with the medical team caring for Damar Hamlin, and also the Bills and Bengals organizations and the NFL Players Association.

“The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date.”

Mike Florio and Peter King react to the cardiac arrest suffered on the field by Damar Hamlin on Monday night, saying a rescheduling of the game between the Bills and Bengals 'does not matter' in light of his critical condition in hospital

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Mike Florio and Peter King react to the cardiac arrest suffered on the field by Damar Hamlin on Monday night, saying a rescheduling of the game between the Bills and Bengals ‘does not matter’ in light of his critical condition in hospital

Mike Florio and Peter King react to the cardiac arrest suffered on the field by Damar Hamlin on Monday night, saying a rescheduling of the game between the Bills and Bengals ‘does not matter’ in light of his critical condition in hospital

The game has major playoff implications as the NFL enters the final week of the 2022 regular season, with the Bills (12-3) needing a win to reclaim the No 1 seed in the AFC, in the hope of clinching a first-round bye and home advantage through the playoffs. The Bengals (11-4) would have clinched the AFC North division title ahead of the Baltimore Ravens (10-6) with a victory.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that if the game was not to resume, it would be “declared a no contest”, essentially a tie – which would be enough for the Bengals win their division and finish as the No 3 seed in the AFC, while the Kansas City Chiefs would then theoretically clinch the No 1 seed ahead of the Bills with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday.

Will the Week 18 games still go ahead?

The Bills are scheduled to close out the regular season on Sunday against New England Patriots (8-8), who need to win to secure themselves a wild-card berth in the AFC, while the Bengals are due to take on the Ravens (10-6).

The Bills will not practice or be available to media on Wednesday, it has been reported. They will hold a team meeting and have a brief on-field walkthrough; the Patriots will practise as scheduled.

When Hamlin was taken from the field in an ambulance on Monday night, Bills coach McDermott was seen leading his team in prayer, while players from both teams were shown to be visibly distraught, some with tears in their eyes, as the situation unfolded.

The NFL’s statement on Tuesday said that they had “not made any changes to the Week 18 regular season schedule”, before adding that they “will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available”.

Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio has questioned whether the Bills will be sufficiently mentally and physically prepared to play again by Sunday, and whether the NFL might reconsider sticking to the current schedule.

“Will all of the players be mentally ready to go?” Florio said on Wednesday’s show. “They may tell themselves they are – and maybe once they’re out there, they’ll feel fine – but I think that crossing the thick white stripe on the sideline is going to be different now to what it has ever been, for them and their family members.

“You’ve got every family member of every NFL player, fearful that what happened to Damar Hamlin can happen to their father, husband, friend, nephew, cousin – someone they know and someone they care about.

“It’s part of what everyone has to process to get to the point where guys can play.

“This game is too hard, too demanding, and the risks are too great to have someone play who doesn’t want to.

“There’s no manual to this, no playbook, no standard operating procedure. Will all players be ready to go? That’s the concern I have for players not just on the Bills and Bengals but for players on every team.

Florio added: “This is a very delicate moment in the scheduling of the season, it’s the culmination of the regular season, the playoffs are looming.

“I really don’t know what the right answer is. There is no perfect solution to this.”

The playoffs are due to begin on the weekend of January 14/15/16, with the Super Bowl scheduled for Sunday, February 12 in Glendale, Arizona. There is a free weekend in the calendar prior to the Super Bowl which would allow for the playoff schedule to begin a week later, should the NFL decide to postpone any Week 18 games.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson hinted at the challenge he has faced in trying to prepare his team for a ‘win-and-in’ showdown for the AFC South division title with the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.

“Obviously on Monday night, watching it, coaching went away,” Pederson told the NFL Network on Wednesday. “I was thinking about Damar and his family – about the players on both sides of that field.

“Then my attention turned to our team. How was I going to handle this and prepare our football team, what was I going to say? It’s human nature.

“I can honestly say I don’t have all of the answers, but I want my players to understand that we’re here for them.”

“We are preparing for a football game. It’s the hardest thing, to transition from life – and things that are out of our control – to a football game, and trying to get the focus of the room back on that.”

NFL world gathers to show support for Hamlin

Former NFL player Jason McCourty prays for and pays tribute to Damar Hamlin after he was taken to hospital in a 'critical condition', having suffered a cardiac arrest in the Bills' game against the Bengals on Monday night

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Former NFL player Jason McCourty prays for and pays tribute to Damar Hamlin after he was taken to hospital in a ‘critical condition’, having suffered a cardiac arrest in the Bills’ game against the Bengals on Monday night

Former NFL player Jason McCourty prays for and pays tribute to Damar Hamlin after he was taken to hospital in a ‘critical condition’, having suffered a cardiac arrest in the Bills’ game against the Bengals on Monday night

Hamlin is in his second season in the NFL, after being taken in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Bills. He spent five years playing his college football at Pittsburgh, his hometown, appearing in 48 games for the Panthers.

He has started 14 games for the Bills this season in place of injured safety Micah Hyde, who suffered a neck injury in Week Two and has been on injured reserve since. Hamlin is tied for the second-most tackles on the team this year, with 91.

After the incident, people started donating to a GoFundMe page set up by Hamlin’s charitable foundation, Chasing M’s, to raise money to support a toy drive for in his community.

Hamlin’s initial stated goal was $2,500 but, by Wednesday, the page had reached over $6.3m (£5.2m), with donations coming in from around the world. NFL stars Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, plus the Houston Texans organisation and Patriots owner Robert Kraft were among those to donate large sums.

NBA star LeBron James sent his best wishes to Hamlin when speaking to reporters after the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

LeBron James sends thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family after the Buffalo Bills player suffered a cardiac arrest during an NFL game

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LeBron James sends thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family after the Buffalo Bills player suffered a cardiac arrest during an NFL game

LeBron James sends thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family after the Buffalo Bills player suffered a cardiac arrest during an NFL game

“It is a terrible thing to see and I wish nothing but the best for that kid and the city of Buffalo, for the franchise of the Bills and the rest of the NFL and also the Bengals that were playing in that game as well,” LeBron said.

“I’m a huge fan of the NFL and a huge fan of football and you never want to see anything like that happen.”

A number of NFL teams postponed their scheduled press availability on Tuesday out of respect for Hamlin, while Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spent part of his news conference sharing his personal connection with the 24-year-old Pittsburgh native.

“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.

“To watch him make personal decisions and make that a realisation, it’s just an honour to get to know young people like that. I had an opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him.

“We’ve played Buffalo each of the last two seasons, and he and I get to have a moment because it’s just cool to not only appreciate these guys in terms of where they are now, but to know them since they were younger people and to watch their maturation their development.

“I’ve got a lot of love for that young man.”

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