The Bengals' Monday night game against the Bills at Paycor Stadium was postponed when Bills safety Damar Hamlin was taken from the field in critical condition.
Hamlin went down with 5:58 left in the first quarter when he tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins after what appeared to be routine a 13-yard gain. He got up and then suddenly collapsed.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics. He was then transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills," Goodell said in the statement. "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
A pall quickly fell over the most anticipated Monday Night Football game in recent memory that was not only taking place before a national television audience but in front of an overflow crowd thought to be the biggest crowd in Paycor history.
Hamlin, 24, is a second-year player from the University of Pittsburgh.
In a midnight media conference call, Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, said the decision to postpone the game came after the head coaches, Zac Taylor of the Bengals and Sean McDermott of the Bills, met with their teams back in the locker rooms.
"It was fluid and things were changing by the minute. The emotions you can imagine in both locker rooms," said Vincent, who along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith were patched into conversations with the coaches and head referee Shawn Smith.
"I commend both of those coaches. Tough situation to go back and look at 53 men in the locker room to just try and calm people down. It was obvious on the phone with them that emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation and I think the coaches, they led tonight. They led their locker rooms."
Vincent said there was no thought of resuming the game after a five-minute delay.
"Five-minute warmup never crossed my mind, personally. And I was the one," Vincent said, "that was communicating with the Commissioner. We never, frankly, it never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That's ridiculous. That's insensitive. And that's not a place that we should ever be in."
Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs & policy, said there has been no thought about how the league plans to address the unprecedented postponement when it comes to a future date. It won't be Tuesday. The Bills planned to fly home Monday night, although the league said some of Hamlin's teammates stayed behind to be with him.
"That's not the consideration right now," Miller said. "Our concern is for the player and his well-being. At the appropriate time, I'm sure that we'll have a conversation around the next steps regarding the game."