American Football: Bills-Bengals NFL game suspended after player collapses in tackle

Bills safety Damar Hamlin was taken off the field by ambulance, after reportedly being administered CPR during the first quarter of Buffalo's NFL game against hosts Cincinnati Bengals, and the NFL has postponed the contest.

The NFL has announced that Hamlin, who collapsed on the field after making a tackle, was in critical condition, reportedly was at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field, before being transported to the hospital.

Damar Hamlin tackles Tee Higgins
Damar Hamlin (left) tackles Tee Higgins. Photo credit: Getty Images

According to the ESPN broadcast, medical personnel administered CPR to Hamlin and also gave him oxygen, as they loaded him into the ambulance.

"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills," the NFL said. "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 this game."

It wasn't immediately known when the game would be played. The Bengals led 7-3, when it was temporarily suspended with 5m 58s left in the first quarter, more than 20 minutes after Hamlin collapsed.

The Bills didn't immediately release a statement afterward, while the Bengals released a brief statement.

"The game has been postponed," they tweeted. "We will provide further information as details become available."

An ambulance was brought onto the field a few minutes after Hamlin, 24, fell to the ground, not moving. He was removed from the field approximately 15 minutes after collapsing.

Hamlin tackled Cincinnati's Tee Higgins after a 13-yard gain to the Bills 48-yard line. He got up and took a step, before falling backward to the ground.

Players from both teams crowded into the area near midfield, as Hamlin was being worked on. Some emotional Buffalo players cried and both teams went into the locker room once play was suspended.

Approximately 50 minutes after Hamlin's injury, Bills coach Sean McDermott and Bengals coach Zac Taylor were outside of their locker rooms, taking turns talking on the phone.

Shortly after that call, the Bills were seen removing their equipment from the field. The announcement of a suspended contest was made minutes later.

"The NFLPA and everyone in our community is praying for Damar Hamlin," tweeted the NFLPA. "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."

Hamlin's injury cast a pall inside Paycor Stadium, which rocked with energy for a showdown between two of the top three teams in the AFC. The Bills are 12-3, the Bengals are 11-4.

Hamlin, a second-year pro, has 92 tackles and 1.5 sacks this season. He was a sixth-round pick in 2021 from Pitt.