UPDATED with more details: Monday Night Football came to a complete halt tonight when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The moment happened with less than 6 minutes remaining during the first quarter. Hamlin tackled wide receiver Tee Higgins and was able to stand up but collapsed seconds later.
First responders rushed to the field to aid the 24-year-old player and administered CPR for several minutes. He was taken to the nearby University of Cincinnati Medical Center in an ambulance.
About an hour after the injury, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Hamlin was taken to the hospital in “critical condition” and that the game had been postponed.
“Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition,” read the official statement from the NFL.
During the delay, ESPN’s studio analysts tried to put the situation into perspective for viewers.
“It’s something like we’ve never seen happen before. I’ve never seen it, I’ve never been a part of it, never heard about it. … All you can do is pray for this gentleman right now. … That’s somebody’s son, somebody’s brother, somebody’s father — they want to know what’s going on,” ESPN studio analyst Booger McFarland said.
Adam Schefter added: “Chilling to watch it. And in the day and age we live in, you can just see on social media [that] every single team, every single player, every single person offering up their prayers for Damar Hamlin. … The game is so secondary to everything else. No one cares about the game right no, everybody cares about this young man, his family and finding out how he’s doing.”
Players from both teams were distraught by what had just transpired with their colleague and some were even seen crying.
The NGFL statement added: “Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. 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.”
The NFL Players Association also issued a statement, saying: “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.”