January 3, 2022 Damar Hamlin news

By Jessie Yeung, Aya Elamroussi, Rob Picheta, Seán Federico O'Murchú, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 4:24 p.m. ET, January 4, 2023
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12:23 a.m. ET, January 3, 2023

Former NFL star Donté Stallworth says he'd never seen CPR administered on the field

From CNN's Aya Elamroussi

Former NFL player Donté Stallworth said he became concerned about Damar Hamlin’s collapse when he saw the player receiving CPR on the field.

“When I saw Damar fall back to the ground after standing up for a couple seconds, I just knew that it was something wrong,” Stallworth told CNN’s Laura Coates on Monday night.

Hamlin, who plays safety for the Buffalo Bills, collapsed Monday night seconds after an open field tackle on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

Stallworth was watching the game live at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati when Hamlin collapsed in the first quarter. Stallworth said he grew even more concerned when he heard an announcement saying CPR was being administered.

“Have never seen anyone have CPR administered to them on the practice field or the game field,” Stallworth said, adding that he played in the NFL for 10 years.

Stallworth added it’s devastating that Hamlin collapsed, noting he saw players crying as some of them surrounded the Bills safety.

11:50 p.m. ET, January 2, 2023

LeBron James on Damar Hamlin's collapse: "It was a terrible thing to see"

Speaking after the Los Angeles Lakers played Monday night, basketball star Lebron James applauded the decision to postpone the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills following Damar Hamlin's collapse.

“I seen the play, but I don’t know what happened. My thoughts and super prayers go up to the skies above for that kid’s family, for him, for that brotherhood of the NFL, and everybody who’s a part of the NFL family," James said.
"It’s definitely the right call, by whoever made that call, [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell or whoever had the authority to make that call to suspend [the game]," he added. "The safety of players in all sports is always the most important. It was a terrible thing to see.”

James added that he was a huge football fan, and: "You never want to see anything like that happen in the type of competition they’re playing in.”

The NFL postponed the game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals Monday night, saying in a statement that Hamlin was in critical condition at the hospital.

11:50 p.m. ET, January 2, 2023

LeBron James and NFL stars send well wishes and prayers for Damar Hamlin

More major athletes and NFL stars have offered their well wishes for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who remains in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital.

"Praying for you kid," tweeted basketball icon LeBron James.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted that he was "praying for health and safety."

Similar messages came from Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, and free agent Odell Beckham Jr.

The Cincinnati Bengals, who had been playing the Bills before Hamlin's collapse, tweeted that it was "sending our thoughts and prayers to Damar."

12:00 a.m. ET, January 3, 2023

Buffalo Bills' Stefon Diggs arrives at hospital treating teammate Damar Hamlin

University of Cincinnati Medical Center is seen in Cincinnati on Monday, January 2.
University of Cincinnati Medical Center is seen in Cincinnati on Monday, January 2. (Jeff Dean/AP)

Buffalo Bills player Stefon Diggs has arrived at the University of Cincinnati Hospital, an ESPN broadcast showed.

His teammate Damar Hamlin was transported to the hospital late Monday after collapsing on the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The NFL said in a statement more than an hour ago that Hamlin was in critical condition.

1:23 a.m. ET, January 3, 2023

Damar Hamlin, 24, made his NFL debut in 2021

Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills looks on prior to a game in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2022.
Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills looks on prior to a game in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 25, 2022. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills player who collapsed during Monday night's game, joined the team in 2021 as a sixth-round draft pick.

The 24-year-old Pennsylvania native spent the 2016-20 seasons playing for the University of Pittsburgh.

Hamlin grew up in McKees Rocks, in western Pennsylvania, and attended high school just a few blocks from the Pittsburgh campus, according to his player bio for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

It added that he had redshirted — meaning he sat out on games while remaining on the team — in 2016 due to injury. The NFL site added that he also missed time due to injuries in 2017 and 2019.

According to the Buffalo Bills' official website, the 6-feet tall, 200 lbs safety played 14 games during his rookie season with the Bills in 2021 and made 15 appearances in 2022.

11:13 p.m. ET, January 2, 2023

In photos: Hamlin's collapse on the field

Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills tackles Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills tackles Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the first quarter of Monday night’s game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin fell on his back just moments after getting up from an open field tackle of Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

Hamlin and Higgins fell to the ground from the impact of the tackle during the first quarter.
Hamlin and Higgins fell to the ground from the impact of the tackle during the first quarter. (Joshua A. Bickel/AP)

 

Hamlin is examined on the field.
Hamlin is examined on the field. (Jeff Dean/AP)

An ambulance was brought onto the field and he was administered CPR, according to an ESPN broadcast.

Video footage and photos from the ground show team trainers and paramedics rushing to his side on the field within 10 seconds of him collapsing.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen reacts as Hamlin is examined.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen reacts as Hamlin is examined. (Jeff Dean/AP)

Bills players huddle and pray after Hamlin's collapse.
Bills players huddle and pray after Hamlin's collapse. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Hamlin's Bills teammates appeared visibly distressed, huddling together on the field as CPR was administered to him.

Hamlin was then transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where he is now in critical condition, according to a statement from the NFL.

Players look on as an ambulance arrives on the field.
Players look on as an ambulance arrives on the field. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The game was officially postponed, the NFL said.

Fans look on as the ambulance leaves carrying Hamlin leaves the stadium.
Fans look on as the ambulance leaves carrying Hamlin leaves the stadium. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Siran Neal reacts after teammate Hamlin's injury.
Siran Neal reacts after teammate Hamlin's injury. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

An announcement is displayed on the scoreboard as the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills is postponed.
An announcement is displayed on the scoreboard as the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills is postponed. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

12:04 a.m. ET, January 3, 2023

Former NFL player Coy Wire: "Never seen a response from a hit like that"

From CNN's Aya Elamroussi

Former NFL player and CNN reporter Coy Wire expressed shock after the Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“There didn't seem to be any direct hit to the head or neck area. His head didn't even look like it got jostled all that much. So, I can't assume what type of injury this might be,” Wire told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday.

Hamlin fell on his back on the field just moments after standing up following an open field tackle of Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

Wire, who played nine seasons in the NFL and currently serves as a CNN sports anchor, said the collapse was shocking.

“Never seen a response from a hit like that,” he said.

Visibly emotional, Wire noted that sympathies should be sent to Hamlin’s family and his loved ones.

“I'm trying to keep my composure for you because I think it's important that we send prayers, think about Damar, think about his family,” Wire told Cooper.

 Wire also praised the NFL’s move to suspend the game after Hamlin's collapse.

“I'm so proud that the NFL has suspended the game because I think maybe 10 years ago, that might not have happened,” he said. “The importance placed on players' safety nowadays, they stopped the game. I think that's progress.”

11:01 p.m. ET, January 2, 2023

Here's how things unfolded at the Paycor Stadium

Monday night's game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed mid-game.

Here's a timeline of events:

  • At 8:55 p.m. E.T., Hamlin made an open field tackle on a Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, with both players falling to ground. Hamlin rose to his feet for several seconds but then fell backwards to the ground. An ambulance was brought onto the field, and Hamlin was administered CPR.
  • At 9:18 p.m. the game was temporarily suspended, at 5:58 of the first quarter.
  • At 9:25 p.m., the ambulance carrying Hamlin left the stadium.
  • At 10:01 p.m., the game was officially postponed. In a statement, the NFL confirmed Hamlin was in critical condition at a local hospital.
10:46 p.m. ET, January 2, 2023

Team trainers got to Damar Hamlin within 10 seconds after he collapsed

Buffalo Bills team trainers got to Damar Hamlin within 10 seconds after he collapsed on the field mid-game, and an ambulance was on the field less than five minutes afterward, video footage shows.

Hamlin received immediate medical attention by "team and independent medical staff and local paramedics," the NFL said in a statement.

Hamlin is in critical condition in the hospital, with the game officially postponed.