The Sunday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills has been postponed after former Pitt and current Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, and was taken to the hospital after an apparent cardiac emergency.
Hamlin, a second-year player out of Pittsburgh by way of Pitt and Central Catholic High School, tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins on a routine play in the first quarter, bounced up to his feet and then suddenly collapsed back onto the field.
Hamlin was taken by ambulance with a police escort from Paycor Stadium to University of Cincinnati Hospital the same hospital former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was taken to following a spinal injury in the same stadium in 2017.
After approximately an hour, the NFL decided to suspend the game between the Bills and Bengals, commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a press release.
“Hamlin received immediate medical attention on the field by team and independent medical staff and local paramedics,” the NFL release stated. “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.”
Hamlin played at Pitt from 2016 to 2020, battling injuries early in his career to become an All-ACC safety. He was selected by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and was playing in his 30th career NFL game.
Hamlin was a teammate of Steelers starting quarterback Kenny Pickett while at Pitt, and with the proximity of the Panthers and Steelers, got to know many Steelers players during his time there.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 3, 2023
I love you twin… @HamlinIsland I know you gone bounce back. God got you!
— Tre Norwood (@trenorwood_3) January 3, 2023
Sending prayers My dawg🙏
— Devin Bush ll (@_Dbush11) January 3, 2023
— Diontae Johnson (@Juiceup__3) January 3, 2023
Absolutely speechless.. please pull through Damar!
— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) January 3, 2023
Prayers for Hamlin 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 i hope everything is okay.
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) January 3, 2023
Praying for Damar and his family 🙏🏾 such a scary sight to see all that matters right now is his health and staying close to his family.
— Najee Harris (@ohthatsNajee22) January 3, 2023
A version of this story first appeared at out partner site, Pittsburgh Sports Now.