HOUSTON – There are a lot of heavy hearts around the NFL with serious concern expressed for injured Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin in the wake of his collapse and hospitalization stemming from a scary collision Monday night with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. The Bills tweeted early Tuesday that Hamlin had suffered a cardiac arrest and was sedated and in critical condition at a hospital.
Several Texans players have close connections to Hamlin and have shared their support and prayers for him on social media.
Texans veteran defensive ends Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison were teammates of Hamlin last season with the Bills. Hamlin played collegiately with Texans center Jimmy Morrissey at Pitt, and he played high school football with Texans rookie Kurt Hinish at Central Catholic in Pittsburgh.
Hinish, following the injury that led up to the game being suspended by the NFL as Hamlin was transported to a Cincinnati hospital, wrote on Twitter: ‘Praying for you brother.’
The Texans normally have a Tuesday walkthrough practice, but that has been cancelled along with interviews, the team announced in an email. Their next practice is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Hughes had a one-word post on Hamlin:
Pray🙏— Jerry hughes Jr (@Iam_jerryhughes) January 3, 2023
And Morrissey shared the official Pitt football account prayers for Hamlin.
Hamlin got up for a moment after the hit before falling backwards on the artificial turf. He was immediately attended to by medical personnel and the game was halted as first responders performed CPR, gave him oxygen. He was intubated and given an IV.
The NFL issued the following statement:
“Tonight’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game has been postponed after Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin collapsed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced,
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.
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.”
NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent, on a late-night conference call, vehemently denied unsubstantiated reports that players were warned they had five minutes to warm up and told they had to start playing again after Hamlin’s injury.
“That’s ridiculous,” Vincent said. “That’s insensitive.”
Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, issued a statement: ‘Please continue to pray for Damar and his family. We currently have no update at this time. Will ask that you keep the family in your prayers.”
Hamlin was drafted in the sixth round in 2021 and became a starter this season when Micah Hyde was ruled out for the season with a neck injury.
Hamlin has recorded a career-high 91 tackles, six for losses, 1 ½ sacks and one forced fumble in 15 games and 13 starts prior to Monday night’s suspended game.
A Christmas toy drive Hamlin organized in his hometown via GoFundMe had a goal of $2,500, but donations of over $2 million have been raised since his serious injury Monday night.