NFL player Damar Hamlin taken away in critical condition after collapsing on field
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An NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals has been postponed after player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field.
The 24-year-old, who plays for the Bills, collapsed with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter of Monday's game (2 January) after hitting Bengals receiver Tee Higgins with what appeared to be a routine tackle.
Hamlin initially got back to his feet but then fell back on the grass and lay motionless, prompting medical staff to rush on to the field while other players from both teams took a knee.
According to ESPN, medics administered CPR on the field, after which he was taken to the hospital at 9:25pm local time.
A statement issued by the Buffalo Bills a few hours after the incident confirmed what had happened to Hamlin, reading: "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."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also shared a statement on the matter, saying: "Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics.
"He was then transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he is in critical condition. Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available."
Some players were spotted with tears in their eyes as they went to their respective locker rooms when Hamlin was removed from the field.
Teammate Stefon Diggs later joined Hamlin at the hospital and the NFL announced the game had been postponed.
"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills," the league said in a statement shared online. "We will provide more information as it becomes available. The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game.”
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman told ESPN 'no one' had been through anything similar on the field before, adding: "I’ve never seen anything like it, either.”
The players' union said it and everyone in its 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," the union added.