On Monday January 2,  the Cincinnati Bengals hosted the Buffalo Bills in an important end of season game, a highly anticipated game for fans since this would determine the seeding going into the last week of the NFL regular season. This was all the talk about the game until halfway through the first quarter, when second-year safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after making a routine tackle. 

Hamlin was immediately tended to by the medical personnel on sight, but his condition was much more serious than initially thought. CPR was administered to Hamlin as soon as possible while the medical team waited for the AED. Teammates surrounded Hamlin in prayer for his health while he was being tended to. 

The timeline of Hamlin’s injury is as follows:  8:55 p.m. – Hamlin collapsed after a collision with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. 9:14 p.m. – medical staff rushed to the field to tend to Hamlin and administer CPR for approximately 10 minutes while waiting for the ambulance. 9:18 p.m. – the game was temporarily suspended. 9:28 p.m. – players of both teams made their way to their respective locker rooms. 10:05 p.m. – the NFL released a statement to postpone the remainder of the game. 

Having to witness their teammate and “brother” being given CPR and experiencing such trauma, Bills players experienced a shift in perspective. It no longer mattered what happened for the rest of the game or what the outcome would be, all that mattered was whether Hamlin was going to be okay. 

In reality, a lot of the players may be concerned for him and his family while also thinking that what happened to Hamlin could have easily been them. The prospect of resuming the game appeared to never be a thought to these players as everything unraveled.

The NFL released a statement mentioning the game will not be continued this week, and that there is currently no conclusion as to when the game will be played. 

As for Damar Hamlin, his family and marketing representative released a statement thanking people for their kind words and prayers. Along with tweets and sent prayers, Hamlin’s organization, The Chasing M Foundation, has raised over $4 million dollars in the last 24 hours. Prior to the jump in donations, Hamlin’s goal for the go-fund me stood at only $2,500 dollars. 

In this time of tragedy, those in the sports community have come together to support Hamlin in his hopeful recovery. This also stems as a reminder that it is simply a game, and the health and safety of players always comes first.

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