The Week 17 game between the Bills and Bengals has been suspended after an extremely scary injury to Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin.
Hamlin collapsed during the first quarter after making a tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Medical staff administered CPR for several minutes before he was transported by ambulance to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Per the NFL, he is currently in “critical condition.”
The league released the following statement after the game was suspended for the night:
The NFL Players Association also released a statement:
The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin. 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.
Players were seen in tears as Hamlin received medical attention. Nearly the entire Bills team joined together in prayer as the ambulance left the field.
Cincinnati held a 7-3 lead with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter when play was suspended.
MORE: Damar Hamlin’s charity has received millions of dollars in donations to GoFundMe page since Bills-Bengals postponement
The Sporting News is tracking live updates as the situation unfolds.
(All times Eastern.)
9:30 p.m.: The NFL officially announced Thursday evening that Bills-Bengals would not be resumed, and that it has been cancelled.
The NFL’s full release on everything related to the #Bills–#Bengals game and all that could happen pic.twitter.com/EVk8KBnjol
3:08 p.m. — According to the Associated Press, the NFL will not be resuming the game between Buffalo and Cincinnati. However, a league spokesman reportedly told The Buffalo News’ Jay Skurski no decisions have been made yet.
An update from an NFL spokesman on the suspended game between the #Bills and Bengals, and whether it may be resumed or not: “No decisions have been made. We continue to explore all options.”
1:50 p.m. — In an update on Thursday afternoon, University of Cincinnati Medical Center doctors said Hamlin first began to wake up on Wednesday night. He asked, via pen and paper, who had won the Bills vs. Bengals game.
UC Medical Center doctors in Cincinnati are answering questions right now. One says that Damar Hamlin woke up last night and communicated in writing: “Who won the game?”
They answered, “Yes. You won in the game of life.”
11:51 a.m. — ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on Thursday he does not expect Bills vs. Bengals to be resumed. He believes final win percentages will be used to determine AFC playoff seeding, although other options are being considered. Those include allowing the No. 1 seed to choose between home-field advantage or a bye week, or potentially holding the AFC title game at a neutral site.
Noteworthy: @AdamSchefter just said on @espn that he expects a decision on Bills-Bengals before the Saturday games kick off (Chiefs-Raiders, Titans-Jaguars). He added he does not expect Bills-Bengals to resume, meaning win percentage determines seeding. (1/2)
Schefter also said that the NFL is considering options such as allowing the No. 1 seed to pick home-field advantage OR a bye week. Another option (an AFC title game between two teams with a differing number of games) is a neutral site. No decision made yet. (2/2)
10:29 a.m. — The Bills have now released another statement about Hamlin’s health. He has shown “remarkable improvement over the last 24 hours,” per the physicians caring for him at UC Medical Center, and “appears to be neurologically intact.”
He is still considered to be “critically ill” but is making “steady progress.”
10:25 a.m. — Bills rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam posted an update about Hamlin on Twitter, saying that he is “doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement.”
Our boy is doing better, awake and showing more signs of improvement. Thank you God. Keep the prayers coming please. All love 3!
8:21 a.m. — ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Damar Hamlin’s father, Mario, addressed the Bills on a Zoom call Wednesday to provide an update on his son’s condition. He informed the team that Damar was “making progress.”
Damar Hamlin’s father, Mario Hamlin, addressed the entire Bills team on a zoom call Wednesday to personally update everyone in attendance on his son, per source. Mario Hamlin informed the Bills that Damar was making progress and, in the words of one source, “the team needed it.”
9:16 p.m. — NFL EVP of Communications Jeff Miller offered some insight on what the NFL might do with regards to Bills-Bengals, and also acknowledged conversations are happening.
“That conversation about what we do with that game has begun,” Miller said Wednesday, per CBS Sports. “Troy, commissioner (Roger Goodell), some of the rest of us are involved in those conversations but they’re ongoing.
“Obviously we’re going to have to make a decision on that in the coming days, which we will. But there’s a lot of considerations in place there and a lot of people that we want to consult with — including the clubs involved — before that decision is final.”
In other words, conversations have started, but a decision isn’t imminent just yet.
2:29 p.m. — NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent says that the NFL hasn’t yet discussed postponing this week’s Bills vs. Patriots game. He did acknowledge that it would be a possibility if necessary, however.
To be clear, Troy Vincent did not rule out the possibility of postponing the game. Just says that conversation has not come up yet. If they feel they have to do that for the players’ and coaches’ well being, they’ll then address it.
1:30 p.m. — The Bills tweet that Hamlin is still in the ICU and in critical condition. However, there were “signs of improvement yesterday and overnight” and the ICU team will continue to monitor him.
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.
12:29 p.m. — Rodney Thomas, a high school teammate of Damar Hamlin, said that he visited the hospital and that Hamlin is “doing good” and that he “has no doubt he’ll pull through.”
Colts safety Rodney Thomas was a high school teammate of Damar Hamlin, and drove to Cincinnati to visit him in the hospital. “He’s doing good,” Thomas said. “He’s building up strength so he can walk out of that room.” Has no doubt he’ll pull through. “I 100% believe that.”
11:06 a.m. — Rooney also spoke to Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network on Wednesday. He said that “things are moving in the right direction” but again did not provide any medical updates on Hamlin.
Speaking with Damar Hamlin family friend Jordon Rooney @jordonr on @nflnetwork about positive signs doctors have seen over last 12 hours & level of clarity they have on Damar’s recovery moving forward: pic.twitter.com/tGH3fWdtfW
10:42 a.m. — Harvey reports that Rooney told him Hamlin “still has a long way to go in his recovery” despite the “small, hopeful step” that occurred Wednesday.
Want to be sure I reiterate that although a small, hopeful step appears to have been made, Jordon did mention that Damar still has a long way to go in his recovery. But the family’s optimism remains high and steady as it’s been throughout all of this.
9:27 a.m. — ESPN’s Coley Harvey spoke to Hamlin’s family friend Jordon Rooney on Monday. Rooney told Harvey that the family had gotten “promising readings” on Hamlin but he couldn’t go into specifics.
Hamlin remains in the ICU and in critical condition.
Damar is still sedated and in critical condition in the ICU.
8:51 p.m. — Glenn said Hamlin is on a ventilator and they’re attempting to get him to breathe on his own as he remains in the ICU. Glenn also said Hamlin has been flipped onto his stomach in order to help the blood in his lungs.
Damar Hamlin’s uncle Dorrian Glenn tells #CNN’s @abroaddus his nephew is “flipped over on his stomach” in the hospital to help with the blood on his lungs. The next step, Glenn said, is to get Hamlin, who is still sedated on a ventilator, to breathe on his own. #BuffaloBills
“A lot of people don’t get to see how loved they are while they’re alive, so for him to have a situation where he could have been taken away and he has a chance to come back and see all that love that he got.”
Our @nflnetwork interview with Damar Hamlin’s uncle, Dorrian Glenn: pic.twitter.com/h3YN3LizPC
7:35 p.m. — Hamlin’s uncle, Doriann Glenn, said Hamlin is now using 50 percent of a ventilator instead of 100 percent. Despite having some damage on his lungs, Glenn says “that’s a good thing. That’s a good sign.”
I just spoke to Dorrian Glenn, Damar Hamlin’s uncle, who said that his nephew is on a ventilator to help him breathe.
Damar has a little lung damage but he’s now breathing using only 50% of ventilator. He needed 100% yesterday.
“That’s a good thing. That’s a good sign.”
1:32 p.m. — The NFL has also announced that the Bills vs. Bengals game will not be resumed this week. The league has “made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date” as well.
Bills-Bengals will not be resumed this week: pic.twitter.com/3LDm7NWVa7
1:26 p.m. — The Bills announce via a statement that Hamlin spent the night in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He remains there in critical condition.
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.
11:49 a.m. — Hamlin’s family releases a statement thanking NFL fans for the “support shown to Damar during this difficult time.” They do not provide any more updates about Hamlin’s condition.
Announcement directly from Damar’s family: pic.twitter.com/MdzgxUmVfg
1:48 a.m. — The Bills offer an official statement regarding what happened to Damar Hamlin.
Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.
12:41 a.m. — Paycor Stadium’s lights have gone blue for Damar Hamlin.
Blue lights surround Paycor Stadium for Damar Hamlin and the Bills family 💙
📸 @JayMorrisonATH pic.twitter.com/KvMPSaRbgi
12:27 a.m. — The NFL still has not given an indication what will come of the Bills-Bengals game as the Bills return to Buffalo.
Bills heading home tonight. League has not started conversation of what happens next with this game at this time.
12:25 a.m. — NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent attempted to clarify details regarding news that the game would resume after a five-minute warming up period, which angered many.
Troy Vincent is not sure where the 5-minute warmup period came from: “There was no time period for the players to get warmed up. … It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. That’s not a place we should ever be in.”
NFL conference call starting now. NFL EVP Troy Vincent: “Frankly, the competitive aspect never crossed my mind, never crossed our minds internally.”
Troy Vincent: “I commend both of those coaches. It’s a tough situation to go back in the locker room and look at 53 men and try to calm people down. It was obvious on the phone the emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation. The coaches led their locker room.”
12:23 a.m. — The Buffalo Bills team busses depart Paycor Stadium
Bills just now leaving Paycor Stadium pic.twitter.com/4TgsXac93i
12:19 a.m. — Tee Higgins, who was involved in the play in which Hamlin collapsed, has tweeted, offering his prayers.
My prayers and thoughts go out to @HamlinIsland the Hamlin Family. I’m praying that you pull through bro. Love 🙏🏾💙
12:15 a.m. — The NFL held a conference call with reporters to provide clarifying details about what occurred in the wake of Hamlin’s injury. Unfortunately, no update was given on his health.
UPDATE: On conference call, NFL’s EVP of Comms Jeff Miller says no update on Damar Hamlin condition will be given. NFL also will not offer information on when the game postponed tonight will be played.
11:55 p.m. — ESPN Bills reporter Alaina Getzenberg has reported the majority of Bills team members have stayed in the locker room at Paycor Stadium. The team buses also still have not left.
11:30 p.m. — Contrary to earlier reports, it now sounds like there will be no update forthcoming tonight from hospital officials.
Just spoke to a rep from University of Cincinnati Medical Center who says the hospital does NOT anticipate giving an update tonight on Damar Hamlin’s status.
11:28 p.m. — Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, has issued a statement:
From Damar Hamlin’s agent Ira Turner of @Agency1AMG:
“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.“
11:23 p.m. — In a post on Twitter, Josh Allen has asked for prayers in support of his teammate.
Please pray for our brother.
11:16 p.m. — Bills receiver Stefon Diggs was just shown on ESPN arriving at the hospital where Hamlin is receiving treatment. He appears to have traveled to University of Cincinnati Medical Center in an Uber and was on his own.
Stefon Diggs showed up to the Cincinnati hospital to check on damar Hamlin 💯🙏🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/bbdKV5He1P
11:06 p.m. — Joe Danneman of FOX19 Cincinnati is reporting the Bills are planning on flying back to Buffalo. However, some members of the organization will be staying behind with Hamlin and his family.
Source: Bills are flying home. They are not staying in Cincinnati.
10:53 p.m. — The sports world continues to hold its collective breath as we await an update on Hamlin. As of now, the information remains the same: The Bills safety is in critical condition at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. No players or coaches will be addressing the media tonight. However, local journalists have reported hospital officials are expected to provide an update sometime this evening.
10:16 p.m. — In an official statement, the NFL has described Hamlin as being in “critical condition.” Here is the full statement from the league:
10:00 p.m. — We have just received word this game has officially been suspended by the NFL. There will be no more football tonight. It remains to be seen when, or if, this game will be completed. But for now, all that matters is the health of Damar Hamlin.
9:55 p.m. — The two head coaches, Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor, just exchanged words in the tunnel. McDermott was on a phone call, then the two shook hands and spoke briefly. Members of the Bills’ staff have now begun clearing equipment off of the sideline. There’s no official word yet, but it appears very likely this game will be postponed or called off.
9:45 p.m. — Per ESPN’s broadcast, Hamlin was transported by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. We’re still awaiting information on his condition. Here are the latest updates we have on Hamlin.
9:28 p.m. — The game remains suspended as we await any sort of information on the condition of Bills safety Damar Hamlin. He collapsed on the field in the first quarter after making a tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. He was taken off the field in an ambulance after medical staff administered CPR for several minutes. As of right now, it’s unclear whether this game will resume tonight or not. But that’s of very little concern at the moment. There are simply no words to describe a situation as scary and unprecedented as this.
9:17 p.m. — The officials just announced this game has been temporarily suspended. Both teams are heading to the locker room. We will continue to provide updates on this situation as it develops.
The Bills and Bengals have both left the field and the game has temporarily been suspended. pic.twitter.com/pb4QZPgHtn
9:12 p.m. — Hamlin has been taken away in an ambulance. The entire Bills team was gathered in prayer on the field as it drove away. Hamlin’s current condition is unclear right now. It appears this game will continue shortly, but right now it’s hard to even imagine playing a football game after what just took place.
The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/lDWNAOEPX4
9:07 p.m. — ESPN’s sideline reporter Lisa Salters just delivered an update and you could hear the emotion in her voice. Joe Buck reported that the medical staff has been administering CPR to Hamlin. We can only hope and pray for the best right now. A devastating and terrifying situation has unfolded here early in this game.
9:03 p.m. — This is really a distressing situation. Josh Allen and several other Bills players are in tears as an ambulance has now come onto the field. Really worrying moments in Cincinnati right now.
8:59 p.m. — Scary scene here. Hamlin made the tackle on that last play and initially got up onto his feet, but he staggered and fell back to the turf. The medical staff is bringing a stretcher out. McDermott looks very concerned.
8:56 p.m. — The Bengals come out swinging once again on their second drive of the night, and a Burrow pass to Tee Higgins picks up 13 yards to quickly move them across midfield. Another Bills defender is down hurt at the end of the play, this time it’s safety Damar Hamlin. Tough start to this game for Buffalo’s defense.
8:53 p.m. — Allen’s left leg got rolled up on a bit at the end of that drive. It looked like his left knee may have even hyper-extended slightly. He was walking a little tenderly to the sideline, but he’s a pretty tough guy and it doesn’t seem like he’s in any danger of leaving this game.
8:51 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Tyler Bass connects from short range to put the Bills’ on the board.
8:49 p.m. — A mishap on 2nd down brings up 3rd and 3 for Buffalo from inside the Bengals’ 10. Allen drops back and tosses left for Cole Beasley, but it goes off the receiver’s hands and falls incomplete. That will force a field goal attempt.
8:47 p.m. — A second catch by Diggs picks up another Bills’ first down, then rookie running back James Cook enters the game and rips off two nice runs to move the ball into the red zone.
8:44 p.m. — On 3rd and inches, Devin Singletary lowers his shoulder and bangs ahead for a first down. Buffalo has the ball across midfield, but they have to burn a timeout on the following play after Sean McDermott doesn’t like what he sees from the defense.
8:42 p.m. — Buffalo’s first drive of the night starts as it often does — with an Allen completion to Diggs. That picks up 17 yards to pick up a quick first down.
8:41 p.m. — If that first drive is any indication, it could be a long night for this Bills defense. Let’s see how Josh Allen responds.
8:38 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Wow, what an incredible start for Cincy! A lightning-quick drive ends in a touchdown after Burrow connects with Tyler Boyd in the back of the end zone! The Bengals have the lead in no time!
Burrow to Boyd for six 🔥
📺: #BUFvsCIN on ESPN
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/CuYr6ubDbC pic.twitter.com/fuD80UcRzt
8:36 p.m. — Burrow sneaks it up the middle to convert for a first down. One play later, he throws it over the middle to Hayden Hurst, who attempts a wild hurdle over a defender but gets dragged down inside the Bills’ 15-yard line.
8:34 p.m. — Joe Mixon gets his first handoff of the night and powers forward to set up 3rd and inches. Buffalo cornerback Taron Johnson was shaken up and is down on the field.
8:31 p.m. — On the first play from scrimmage, Burrow goes deep down the left sideline to Chase. Tre’Davious White had a hold of Chase in coverage, and that’ll draw a pass interference call. Rough start to the night for White.
8:30 p.m. — Here we go. Kickoff is just moments away in this massive late-season AFC showdown. The Bengals won the toss and have elected to receive first. Burrow and his offense will take the field to get things underway.
8:21 p.m. — Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have formed another deadly duo recently. Chase hasn’t been held under 7 catches in a game since Week 4 against the Dolphins.
Ja’Marr Chase will have ___ receiving yards on MNF.
📺: #BUFvsCIN — Tonight 8:30pm ET on ESPN
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/CuYr6ubDbC pic.twitter.com/mYhTBHXnIs
7:35 p.m. — This duo has been outstanding once again this season. They’ll need to be at their best in one of their biggest tests of the season tonight.
Can’t break their focus. 🤝 #BUFvsCIN | #BillsMafia pic.twitter.com/kyfzqhTTIF
7:23 p.m. — Joe Burrow has his team playing some great football at the right time. Can he and the Bengals topple the AFC’s top dog tonight?
Haven’t seen @JoeyB play since last year 🥁
📺: #BUFvsCIN — Tonight 8:30pm ET on ESPN
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/CuYr6ubDbC pic.twitter.com/nibDOpsXjG
The game is scheduled to kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET from Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The weather forecast calls for cloudy skies with temperatures in the high 50s Fahrenheit and a chance of thunderstorms later in the evening.
Buffalo and Cincinnati will face off on the final “Monday Night Football” broadcast of the season. ESPN will be airing the game nationwide in the United States, with Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentary) and Lisa Salters (sideline reporting) on the call from Cincy.
Fans in the United States looking for a live stream can find one on fuboTV, which offers a free trial. Other options include ESPN.com, ESPN+ or the ESPN App.
Viewers in Canada can tune in on TSN 1/3/4 or RDS2, or via live stream with DAZN, which features every NFL game.
Sporting News’ Jacob Camenker also contributed to this report.
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