The NFL has postponed Monday night’s Week 17 finale between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills.
After Bills safety Damar Hamlin passed out on the field at the 5:58 mark of the first quarter, the NFL made its decision. On a second-and-3 play from the Cincinnati 39-yard line, the play was initiated. After catching a pass from Joe Burrow for 13 yards, Bengals receiver Tee Higgins appeared to strike Hamlin in the chest. Hamlin was originally able to stand up, but he later lost his balance and needed assistance from a doctor. The 24-year-old is said to have received CPR on the field before being taken away in an ambulance while being escorted by his family.
According to a statement from the NFL, Hamlin was taken to a nearby hospital and is in critical condition.
Both teams departed for their respective locker rooms during the wait, which lasted well over 50 minutes. Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor, the head coaches of both teams, were spotted chatting with several players outside the locker rooms. Soon after their conversation, the league announced that this game would be postponed.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game for tonight has been postponed after Buffalo Bills running back Damar Hamlin fell. “Local paramedics and team medical staff provided Hamlin with rapid medical care on the scene. He was afterwards taken to a nearby hospital, where he is currently in a critical condition. We are praying for Damar and the Buffalo Bills. As additional information becomes available, we will update this page. The NFL Players Association, which supports postponing the game, has been in continual contact with the NFL.”
This game was advertised as a heavyweight contest between two AFC contenders with the No. 1 seed on the line heading into Monday night. On its first possession, Cincinnati was able to go on a 75-yard touchdown drive, while Buffalo was only able to kick a field goal before the game was eventually stopped and then suspended due to the Hamlin injury.