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Damar Hamlin: Buffalo Bills safety showing 'remarkable improvement,' doctors say

Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition after going into cardiac arrest on Monday night 02:24

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after making a tackle Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin, a McKees Rocks native and Pittsburgh Central Catholic and University of Pittsburgh alumnus, was injured during the first quarter.

Hamlin tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, stood up and fell to the ground. A stretcher and ambulance were brought out onto the field. Hamlin was given CPR on the field, the Monday Night Football broadcast reported. He was later placed on a stretcher and given oxygen as he was taken off in an ambulance to a Cincinnati hospital, CBS Sports reported.

On Wednesday, the Bills said that he's still in the ICU in critical condition but is showing signs of improvement. 

In the wake of the incident, the entire sports world has come together to support Hamlin and the Bills during this difficult time. 

On Thursday, the Bills announced that Hamlin has shown what physicians treating him are calling "remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours."


Damar Hamiln sends first tweet since suffering injury

On Saturday evening, Damar Hamlin sent out his first tweet since suffering his injury.

"Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much... thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed. This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me!" the tweet read.

Hamlin's tweet comes hours after the Bills provided an update on the 24-year-old, saying, in part, Hamlin's "neurological function is excellent."

By Garrett Behanna

'Neurological function is excellent' Bills provide update on Hamlin

On Saturday afternoon, the Bills and UC Medical Center provided an update on Damar Hamlin. 

By Patrick Damp

Bills place Hamlin on IR

The Bills have placed Damar Hamlin on injured reserve.

By Michael Guise

NFL: All 32 teams to show support for Hamlin

The NFL said all 32 teams will show support for Damar Hamlin throughout Week 18. 

The league said it distributed a public address that clubs are encouraged to read before the national anthem "as a unified show of support for Damar, the first responders and medical caregivers."

All clubs are allowed to outline the number 3 in each 30-yard line number in either Buffalo Bills red or Buffalo Bills blue. 

Players can also wear black t-shirts that read "Love for Damar 3" during warm-ups, while Bills players will have similar shirts in royal blue and special hats, as well as jersey patches with Hamlin's number. 

By Madeline Bartos

Damar Hamlin FaceTimes Bills' Teammates

The Buffalo Bills continue to provide great news on Damar Hamlin's recovery. He has FaceTimed the team on Friday morning.

By Jonathan Fisher

Damar Hamlin is breathing on his own

According to the Buffalo Bills, safety Damar Hamlin's breathing tube was removed overnight and is talking to his family and care team. 

By Jonathan Fisher

'Pittsburghers stick together.'

When the Penguins showed up to Thursday's game against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas, they were wearing blue and gold ribbons in support of Damar Hamlin.

By Mike Darnay

NFL announces Bills-Bengals game won't be resumed

The NFL said Thursday it will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field.

The league said some of the factors in coming to its decision included that "not playing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game to its conclusion will have no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason. No club would qualify for the postseason and no club will be eliminated based on the outcome of this game."

Also, the NFL said playing the game between the Bills and Bengals would have required postponing the start of the playoffs by a week, and affecting all 14 teams that qualified for the postseason.

The NFL said its decision creates "potential competitive inequities in certain playoff scenarios." The league said clubs on Friday, in a special league meeting, would consider a resolution recommended by the commissioner and approved today by the Competition Committee.

Hamlin has shown what physicians treating him are calling "remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours," the team announced Thursday, three days after the 24-year-old player had to be resuscitated on the field.

The Bills-Bengals game had major playoff implications for the AFC. Determining next steps is an exhaustive process and the league is considering various scenarios.

By The Associated Press

Higgins says 'I'm in a good place right now'

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins said he's "in a good place right now" after hearing from Damar Hamlin's mother about his improvement on Thursday.

Higgins was involved in the hit that came right before the Buffalo Bills safety went into cardiac arrest on the field during the game Monday night. Doctors say Hamlin has made "remarkable improvement" in the last 24 hours.

"Obviously it's been hard, just because you know I had something to do with the play (and) whatnot," Higgins said in his first public comments since Hamlin collapsed and the game was suspended. But "everyone has been making me feel whole again. I talked to his mom and everything is OK, he's doing good, so I'm in a good place right now."

Higgins said Hamlin's mother told him "she's thinking of me and praying for me and things like that.

"And suddenly she's telling me that he's OK. And just all the positive stuff," the third-year wideout said. "I mean it feels good just knowing that he's OK, he's doing better, and it makes me feel better inside."

Higgins said it took him a beat or two after the play on Monday night to notice something was seriously wrong. Replays showed Hamlin stand up after tackling Higgins and a few seconds later fall straight backward.

"Me being a football player, I'm thinking he just flopped, one of my guys bumped him," Higgins said. "I just seen the fall. I looked again, and I seen what happened, and I just turned my head and trying not to think about it. So I knew it was something crazy and something tragic."

Medical personnel got Hamlin's heart started again with CPR and defibrillation. An ambulance rolled onto the field, and he was rushed to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

"You know, it was hard (to see)," Higgins said. "Obviously, (I) wasn't in a good place to play the rest of that game, so I'm kind of glad that we chose not to play."

Higgins' Bengals teammate Tyler Boyd is a friend of Hamlin's from the Pittsburgh area. Both played at Pitt. Boyd said he knew something was wrong when he tried to talk to Hamlin after the collapse.

"I was trying to speak to him, and he wasn't giving me anything," Boyd said. "And just seeing that, and then (I) just kind of went shocked. But it still didn't hit me yet, you know, because that's a football play. But once everybody was coming over, and it was getting kind of serious. It kind of touched me in a way to where, man, you just can't take things for granted. You know, like, regardless of who we're playing against, that's my brother, no matter what. You know, I grew up with him."

Higgins said it was an emotional release to get back to practice on Wednesday and Thursday. The Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens in the regular-season finale on Sunday.

"It's hard to forget about, but at the end of the day we are professional football players," he said. "We do have a job to do, and you just have to shift your focus and focus on the Ravens."

By The Associated Press

AP sources: NFL will not resume Bills-Bengals game

The NFL will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league is still figuring out how to determine playoff seedings and scheduling. The NFL Players Association must approve changes.

The Bills-Bengals game had major playoff implications.

Buffalo (12-3) entered Monday night needing a win to maintain the AFC's No. 1 seed. The Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) currently hold that spot. The Bengals (11-4) had a chance to earn that top seed with two more wins and a loss by the Chiefs.

By The Associated Press

Doctors: Hamlin communicating through writing, asked who won the game

Damar Hamlin has been communicating through writing and even asked who won the game, University of Cincinnati Health physicians said during a press conference. 

Dr. Timothy Pritts said they told Hamlin "Yes Damar, you won, you've won the game of life." 

The update from Pritts along with Dr. William Knight comes after the team reported this morning Damar is "neurologically intact" and has shown "remarkable improvement" over the past 24 hours. 

"It's not only that the lights are on, we know that he's home," said Pritts. 

Knight said the best case scenario would be getting Hamlin back to the way he was at 8 p.m. on Monday but the physicians said their focus right now is on getting him better, able to breathe on his own and out of the hospital. 

Knight said it's "entirely too early" to talk about getting him back into the NFL. 

The doctors said they're still working to learn the cause of the cardiac arrest. They credited the quick actions of medical staff for allowing Hamlin to improve as much as he has. 

By Madeline Bartos

Bills CB Kaiir Elam says Damar Hamlin is awake

Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam took to Twitter to provide an update on Damar Hamlin's current status. 

The Buffalo Bills also provided an update on Hamlin. 

By Jonathan Fisher

Proper planning for cardiac events at NFL games

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- When it comes to the medical preparations taken before every game in the National Football League, nothing is left to chance and every possibility is considered.

That's why emergency crews and first responders were ready when the unthinkable happened to Damar Hamlin on Monday night in Cincinnati.   

As players anxiously summoned the medical team to Hamlin on the turf at Paycor Stadium, the response was swift with every effort planned for exactly what had happened.

Buffalo Bills players look on after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 collapsed on the field after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 02: Buffalo Bills players look on after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 collapsed on the field after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dylan Buell / Getty Images

The Steelers along with every other NFL team have a slew of medical professionals on their sidelines to handle any potential injury.

As protected as the players may be with padding and helmets, history has shown -- and as the concern on many faces clearly showed, players can sustain injuries that if not handled precisely, can be paralyzing or even life-threatening. 

While Hamlin's loss of a heartbeat is extremely rare, it's something that is carefully planned for.

"The sixty minute meeting is the most important thing we do on Sundays," said NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills. "It involves everyone on the medical care team from both teams. 

In a cardiac event, every response need is considered and a person is assigned to handle it, from who does the resuscitation, who brings the defibrillator onto the field, and who handles breathing issues.

"They talk specifically about locations of emergency equipment, who's going to lead if we have cardiac arrest, and how the chain of command will go," Dr. Sills said.

It's all covered, nothing is left to chance or question.

"To me it's one of the most important things we do on game day and it's part of the reason why in this tragic moment on Monday night, we could have a quick, effective, and really transformational response," Dr. Sills said.

In addition to medical events that may happen on the field, the medical professionals, especially EMS workers, are ready to respond to a similar emergency no matter where it happens in the stadium. 

By John Shumway

Players around NFL say Hamlin's injury wasn't Higgins' fault

CINCINNATI (AP) — Teammates and other NFL players offered their support Wednesday for Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, saying he did nothing wrong on the play that caused Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin to go into cardiac arrest.

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills tackles Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter of an NFL football game at Paycor Stadium on January 2, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kevin Sabitus / Getty Images

The 24-year-old Hamlin's heart stopped after tackling Higgins in a horrifying scene that led to the suspension of Monday night's game. Higgins led with his right shoulder, which hit the defensive back in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins' shoulders and helmet to drag him down. The play appeared routine but Hamlin got to his feet then collapsed backward.

Medical personnel were able to restart his heart on the field. Hamlin remains in intensive care at a Cincinnati hospital. His condition has improved slightly, the team said.

"There's nothing you can do about that hit," quarterback Joe Burrow said Wednesday after the Bengals practiced for the first time since the incident. "That hit happens on every play of every single game. That's the scary part about it."

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons pushed back at former NFL player Bart Scott, who suggested on ESPN that Higgins was partially at fault for lowering his head and "throwing his body" into Hamlin's chest after catching a 13-yard pass.

"(A)re we serious?!!? why do we let some people speak on tv?!," Parsons tweeted in response to Scott's comments. "This was a freak incident but putting fault on another player is wild!"

Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd was more direct, tweeting in response to Scott: "straight bozo."

Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader said Hamlin and Higgins were simply "out there playing at full speed."

"It's just what happens sometimes, and it's just such a freak accident," Reader said. "You can't take your foot off the gas as a defender or an offensive player out there. If you're playing lightly, you're going to take your risk of getting hurt. It's the only way to play this game. You got to play 100 miles an hour, and that's how you go about it."

Chicago Bears center Sam Mustipher said extreme violence is part of the deal for NFL players.

"Football is a game where you want to impose your will on another man," Mustipher said. "And I'm sure you know (Higgins) thought, 'I'm lowering my shoulder, knocking it forward, finishing a run after a catch.' And that happens. You know, I hope his mental is good, he's doing all right. You know, there is a lot of emotion and passion in this game. Yeah, I can't imagine what he is feeling right now."

Outside University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Hamlin family spokesman Jordon Rooney called for "rallying around like people like Tee Higgins. You know, like he needs support."

Burrow said Higgins, who wasn't made available to reporters Wednesday, is handling the situation as best he can.

"Tee's doing well. He's pretty shaken up, just like all of us," Burrow said. "We've never seen anything like that, and unfortunate as it is, that's part of the game and something that you hope never happens, but as we saw on Monday night, can and will happen."

Bengals coach Zac Taylor said only that "my communication with Higgins is that he's doing OK."

By The Associated Press

Hamlin's collapse spurs new wave of vaccine misinformation

Unfounded claims about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines proliferated in the hours and days after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed during Monday's game, revealing how pervasive vaccine misinformation remains three years after the pandemic began.

Even before Hamlin was carried off the field in Cincinnati, posts amassing thousands of shares and millions of views began circulating online claiming without evidence that complications from COVID-19 vaccines caused his health emergency.

While cardiac specialists say it's too soon to know what caused Hamlin's heart to stop, they've offered a rare type of trauma called commotio cordis as among the possible culprits. Physicians interviewed by The Associated Press say there's no indication Hamlin's vaccine status played a role, and said there's no evidence to support claims that a number of young athletes have died as a result of COVID vaccinations.

Peter McCullough, a Dallas cardiologist and outspoken vaccine critic, amplified the theories on a Fox News segment hosted by Tucker Carlson on Tuesday, speculating that "vaccine-induced myocarditis," may have caused Hamlin's episode. While the Bills have not said whether Hamlin was vaccinated, about 95% of NFL players have received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the league.

In his Tuesday segment, Carlson claimed McCullough and another researcher found that "more than 1,500 total cardiac arrests" have occurred among European athletes "since the vax campaign began."

But Carlson was citing a letter in which the authors' evidence was a dubious blog that lists news reports of people all over the world, of all ages, dying or experiencing medical emergencies. The blog proves no relationship between the incidents and COVID-19 vaccines; it also includes in its count reported deaths from cancer and emergencies of unknown causes.

"It's not real research, but he quotes it as if it's real research," said Dr. Matthew Martinez, director of sports cardiology at Atlantic Health System in Morristown Medical Center. "Anybody can write a letter to the editor and then quote an article that has no academic rigor."

Many social media users have also shared deceptive videos that purport to show athletes collapsing on-field because of COVID-19 vaccines. However, several of the cases shown have been proven to be from other causes.

Though anti-vaccine influencers have insisted that sudden cardiac arrests during sports games are unprecedented, cardiologists say they've observed these traumatic events throughout their careers, and long before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There have always been cases of athletes having sudden cardiac death or cardiac arrest," said Dr. Lawrence Phillips, sports health expert and cardiologist at NYU Langone Health. "I have not seen a change in the prevalence of them over the last couple of years versus earlier in my career."

In fact, Phillips said, these rare medical emergencies are the main reason that doctors and activists have spent years campaigning for defibrillators to be on standby at sporting events.

That push, and the implementation of emergency action plans, has improved outcomes after cardiac events on the playing field, even as the number of such events has remained "remarkably stable," Martinez said.

Martinez, who has worked for the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, said he has investigated but not seen any signal that COVID-19 or vaccines are causing an increased incidence of cardiac events among athletes.

His research shows that among professional athletes who have had COVID-19, rates of inflammatory heart disease were about 0.6% — showing no increased risk compared to other viruses.

Online posts mentioning Hamlin and vaccines soared into the thousands within one hour of Hamlin's collapse, according to an analysis conducted for the AP by Zignal Labs, a San Francisco-based media intelligence company.

It's not surprising that misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines surged following Hamlin's cardiac arrest, given how much vaccine misinformation has spread since the pandemic began, said Jeanine Guidry, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor who researches health misinformation and vaccine hesitancy.

High-profile public events like Hamlin's collapse often create new waves of misinformation as people grasp for explanations. For people concerned about vaccine safety, Hamlin's sudden collapse served to affirm and justify their beliefs, Guidry said.

"This happened to a person in the prime of their life, on primetime television, and the people watching didn't immediately know why," she said. "We like to have clear answers that make us feel safer. Especially after the last three years, I think this is coming from fear and uncertainty."

Similarly unfounded claims about vaccine injuries surged last month following the death of sports journalist Grant Wahl, who died of a ruptured blood vessel in his heart while covering the World Cup in Qatar. His death was not related to vaccines.

By The Associated Press

Biden talks to Hamlin's parents

President Joe Biden spoke with the parents of Damar Hamin on Wednesday.

According to The Hill, the president spoke with the parents of Buffalo Bills safety "at length."

Earlier in the day, the Bills said Hamlin is still in the ICU in critical condition but is showing signs of improvement. 

By Michael Guise

Acrisure Stadium, PPG Paints Arena show support for Hamlin

Acrisure Stadium and PPG Paints Area have a message of support for Damar Hamlin on Wednesday.

The stadium was lit up in blue with a message on the scoreboard that read, "The Steelers and Panthers continue to pray for Damar Hamlin."

Acrisure Stadium is home to the Pitt Panthers and the Steelers.

PPG Paints Arena was also lit up in blue with the message, "Pray for Damar." 

"The city of Pittsburgh is praying for you, Damar," the Penguins tweeted. 

By Michael Guise

T.J. McDonnell dons Hamlin jersey

Pittsburgh native T.J. McConnell is thinking of Damar Hamlin. 

Before the Indiana Packers game Wednesday against the Philadephia 76ers, McConnell wore Hamlin's No. 3 jersey.

"I just wanted to show support for a fellow Pittsburgh native and athlete, and let him and his family know that all of us here are thinking of him and praying for him," the Pacers tweeted.

By Michael Guise

Blue lights at Acrisure Stadium

Acrisure Stadium will be lit up in blue Wednesday night as the Steelers and Pitt Panthers show support for Pittsburgh native and injured Bills' player Damar Hamlin.

By Heather Lang

Kenny Pickett: 'This was something I never would imagine could happen'

As the Steelers prepare for their last game of the season, the condition of Pittsburgh native Damar Hamlin is weighing heavily on their minds. 

Both Kenny Pickett and Cam Heyward are thinking about Hamlin and hoping for the very best.

Pickett was Hamlin's teammate at Pitt. The Steelers quarterback said he is checking with Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi in order to keep updated on Hamlin's condition.

"Damar is an unbelievable person," Pickett said. "He does so much for the community. A guy from Pittsburgh, stayed home, could have went anywhere he wanted to. We had a great run together and he had an unbelievable career at Pitt. Captains together in 2020.

"His brother was always around the facility. They're Pitt family to all of us. Thoughts and prayers are with him and trying to keep in touch with his family through Coach Narduzzi. I just want him to get better.

"It's a sport that's physical and you never know what could happen, and this was something I never would imagine could happen."

Heyward said he was not watching the Bills-Bengals game when it happened, but found out shortly afterward through texts. Then, he and his wife turned it on.

"Players rally around players and the coaches all try to be there for the players, but I think we're just worried about that young man that's in Cincinnati right now," Heyward said. "We can only just focus on Damar just getting healthy and hopefully making a speedy recovery."

By Heather Lang

Bills: Hamlin shows signs of improvements

The Buffalo Bills shared another update on Damar Hamlin, saying Wednesday afternoon that he's still in the ICU in critical condition but is showing signs of improvement. 

Hamlin is expected to stay in the ICU as his health care team continues to monitor and treat him, the Bills said. 

By Madeline Bartos

Family rep: Hamlin's recovery moving in positive direction

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Damar Hamlin's recovery is moving in "a positive direction" two days after the Buffalo Bills safety collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a game against Cincinnati, the player's marketing representative said Wednesday.

"We all remain optimistic," Jordon Rooney, a family spokesman who described himself as a good friend of the player, told The Associated Press by phone. He said he was unable to go into further detail on Hamlin's status at the request of his family not to provide specifics.

On Tuesday, the Bills said Hamlin was listed in critical condition.

Rooney said Hamlin's family was staying positive and buoyed by the outpouring of worldwide support the second-year Bills player has received since his heart stopped and he was resuscitated on the field before being loaded into an ambulance and transported the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

"They are elated right now," Rooney said. "Damar is still their first concern. But for them, they always look at how they can turn a somewhat troubling situation into a good one. The bounce back from this, for him and his family is going to be incredible."

Rooney's update came after Hamlin's uncle, Dorrian Glenn, told numerous media outlets Tuesday night there were some encouraging signs in his nephew's progress, such as doctors lowering the level of oxygen Hamlin needs from 100% to 50%.

"He's still sedated right now," Glenn told CNN. "They just want him to have a better chance of recovering better. So, they feel that if he's sedated, his body can heal a lot faster than if he was woke and possibly cause other complications."

Rooney did say there was a misunderstanding when Glenn said Hamlin had to be resuscitated twice. Rooney said that "isn't exactly true," without going into detail.

The chilling scene of Hamlin's collapse, which played out in front of a North American television audience on ESPN's "Monday Night Football," has put the NFL on hold, with the pivotal game suspended indefinitely. The Kansas Chiefs are battling with the Bills and Bengals for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The Bills, who returned to Buffalo early Tuesday, are scheduled to hold team meetings and a walkthrough practice without any media availability on Wednesday. They are expected to resume practice on Thursday ahead of their home game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The Patriots also pushed back their media availability to Thursday, and noted the NFL approved giving both teams an extra day "due to these unique circumstances."

What remains unclear is whether the NFL will reschedule the Bills' game against the Bengals, which has major implications in determining who wins the AFC race, with the playoffs set to open on Jan. 14.

The Chiefs (13-3) currently have a half-game lead over Buffalo (12-3), with the Bills owning the tiebreaker after beating Kansas City this season. The Bengals (11-4) are currently the third seed and have also defeated the Chiefs this season.

Players and fans from across the NFL rallied to Hamlin's support, with vigils held in Cincinnati and outside the Bills' home stadium. The shock of what happened also reverberated in Pittsburgh, where the 24-year-old Hamlin grew up and was determined to give back to those in need.

Hamlin was hurt in the first quarter when he was struck squarely in the chest while making what appeared to be routine tackle of Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin briefly got up and adjusted his facemask before collapsing backward.

Hamlin is from McKees Rocks, a hardscrabble exurb of Pittsburgh, and was selected by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 2021 draft out of Pitt. He spent his rookie season limited to special teams roles, and took over the starting job in Week 3 in place of veteran Micah Hyde, who remains sidelined by a neck injury.

Fans, players and NFL owners have been making donations to Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation. The foundation's modest goal of raising $2,500 for a toy drive exceeded $6.3 million by noon on Wednesday. Patriots owner Robert Kraft donated $18,003, while Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, together with his wife, Ciara, made $10,000 contributions.

"Damar would want to use this to help other people. He would hate for all his attention to just be on him and there not be a positive outcome," Rooney told reporters at the hospital. "So, I mean, that's Damar. I mean, his entire life is spent towards providing and serving other people. That's just who he is."

By The Associated Press

Donations for Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser surpass $6 million

Another milestone has been crossed with donations made towards Damar Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser.

On Monday night, following Hamlin's collapsing on the field, donations began pouring in, with millions of dollars donated within hours.


Now, the total amount of money raised has now passed the $6 million mark. 

The money raised on GoFundMe will benefit Hamlin's Chasing M's Foundation.

By Mike Darnay

Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition over 24 hours after going into cardiac arrest

McKees Rocks native and Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains is fighting for his life as he remains in a Cincinnati hospital in critical condition. 

Family and fans continue to hold out hope awaiting for an update on his diagnosis, now more than 24 hours after the frightening moment that took place at Paycor Field on Monday night. 

Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition after going into cardiac arrest on Monday night 02:24

The 24-year-old safety went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on field, falling on his back just moments after getting up from an open-field tackle of Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins.

One of Hamlin's teammates spoke on Tuesday about what a fighter he is.

"Damar is a fighter and he's fighting. We know our teammate. He's one of the strongest guys," said Dion Dawkins.

Within 10 seconds of Hamlin's collapse, Bills team trainers were treating him. An ambulance was on the field in less than five minutes and he was given CPR before being taken to the hospital.

The NFL said the game between the Bills and Bengals will not resume this week and that no decision has been made about playing it a later date. 

By Jessica Guay

Community lifts Hamlin's name in prayer

Damar Hamlin is from McKees Rocks, and those who know him say he has not forgotten that. Now the community is lifting his name up in prayer and love.

"You feel for the family," said David Rough. "You feel for the teammates. Everyone around the world is praying for him."

When Rough got ready for work Tuesday at Anytime Market in McKees Rocks, he reached for his Buffalo Bills jersey.

Former youth coach of Damar Hamlin said nothing about his spirit has changed 02:16

"I had his jersey from Pitt and I had this one," he said. "And I just wanted to wear something so I could have him near me."

Aside from relentless prayer, that was his way of showing support for Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest mid-game Monday night. Rough was Hamlin's pee wee coach and has early memories of his rise to football stardom.

"He could do special things at a young age that the other kids just couldn't do," Rough said. 

Rough remembers Hamlin as somebody who's always been humble, giving and caring about his community.

"Damar has never forgotten Stowe or McKees Rocks ever," he said.

This former coach says Hamlin is the role model kids in the community look up to and is the example parents hope their kids grow to become.

He wants Hamlin and his loved ones to know that the McKees Rocks community is praying for the best possible outcome.

By Royce Jones

Niagara Falls lit in blue

Niagara Falls was illuminated in blue on Tuesday night in a show of support for Damar Hamlin.

On Twitter, Niagara Parks said the falls were lit up blue at 9 p.m. on Tuesday "in support of Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills and the City of Buffalo. Our collective thoughts are with him, his family, his team and the City of Buffalo."

By Michael Guise

Tributes continue

Tributes for Damar Hamlin continue, as the Bills' safety recovers after collapsing on the field Monday night.

Multiple NFL stadiums are glowing blue, white and red for Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during the Bills' game against the Bengals.

By Michael Guise

Health update

Damar Hamlin's uncle has provided an update on the health status of the McKees Rocks native.

According to Josh Reed, the sports director at WIVB-TV in Buffalo, New York, Hamlin was originally on 100 percent oxygen and now he is on 50 percent.

"Says the family is hanging in there. He thanked Bills fans, and Bengals fans and asked for continued prayers," Reed tweeted.

ESPN's Coley Harvey reported there is concern about lung damage after Hamlin had to be resuscitated twice, according to his uncle. 

By Michael Guise

All 32 NFL teams show support for Hamlin

All 32 NFL teams have changed their Twitter profile pictures to show support for Damar Hamlin.

Hamlin, who was injured last night during the Bills-Bengals game, is in the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the field. He remains in critical condition, the Bills said.

The image below is the Twitter logo being used by all teams 

By Michael Guise

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi: 'Damar, we love you'

Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi released a statement offering prayers to Damar Hamlin, calling him "more than just a football player."

"He's a loving son, brother and friend. Damar is a hero to thousands of Pittsburgh kids," Narduzzi said.

"Damar, we love you. We are praying for you. Pittsburgh's always had your back. And now it's obvious the entire country has your back, too."

By Madeline Bartos

Bishop Zubik offers prayers

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik offered prayers after Central Catholic High School graduate Damar Hamlin's injury. 

"We were all shocked, and are still in shock by what we witnessed on the football field in Cincinnati last night. Along with the chilling scenes, were emotional signs of love, humanity, compassion, brotherhood, and prayer. Our prayers are with Damar Hamlin and his family," Zubik said in a statement.

"As a graduate of Central Catholic High School, and the University of Pittsburgh, Damar is part of our family. We, as a Catholic community offer prayers for his recovery, and for God's comfort to fill the hearts of all those who are praying for him, and awaiting updates on his condition. 

By Madeline Bartos

Hamlin's former Central Catholic coach prays for his recovery

Damar Hamlin is fighting for his life. The Pittsburgh native was playing for the Buffalo Bills during their game against the Cincinnati Bengals when he went into cardiac arrest on the field Monday night.  

It's something former Central Catholic coach Terry Totten never expected: the former Central Catholic star down and not moving. He was watching the game on Monday night but missed the play. His phone started going off, and then he saw what happened.  

"My concerns are grave at that point. You get flashbacks about the kid, the person you knew is in danger," Coach Totten said inside the Central Catholic weight room.  

Throughout the Central Catholic weight room, you can see the impact Damar Hamlin had on the program. His picture from Pitt hangs on the wall as you walk in. His NFL jersey is framed as a reminder to players that hard work can pay off.  

"He was determined. It didn't seem to be any lack of confidence that 'I'm going to make that football team,'" coach Totten told KDKA-TV. 

During his time at Central, Hamlin proved to be a leader for the team. His leadership paid off with a state championship in 2015.  

"Not headlines. Not flash. This dude was just about steady, solid, caring about people," coach Totten said about his former player.  

The McKees Rocks native has never forgotten his roots. Anytime Hamlin is home, he visits his alma mater. The 2016 graduate has made Central Catholic a foundation for his life. The school is hoping and praying for the best.  

"We just hope for the best for his well-being and the mental psyche of his family members," Central Catholic Director of Communications Brian Cook said.  

With all the success on the football field, coach Totten says Hamlin has played even better in the game of life. He wants to better communities, as evident with his toy drive. Hamlin's coach said the young man has such a bright future. He adds that it's not just his on-the-field play that is special, but his work in the community as well.  

"He's represented all of us tremendously well, and it's not been easy," coach Totten said.  

As he waits to hear better news about his former player, coach Totten prays and hopes Damar pulls through.  

By Chris Hoffman

NFL says Bills-Bengals game won't resume this week

The NFL said the Bills-Bengals game won't resume this week after Damar Hamlin collapsed. 

"After speaking with both teams and NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the clubs today that the Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week," a statement on the Twitter page for the NFL's communications department.

The statement said the league has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game, and there have been no changes to the Week 18 regular schedule yet. 

By Madeline Bartos

Bills give update on Hamlin's condition

The Buffalo Bills gave an update on Damar Hamlin's condition Tuesday afternoon, saying he's still in the ICU.

"Damar Hamlin spent last night in the intensive care unit and remains there today in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center," the Bills tweeted. 

"We are grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we have received thus far."

By Madeline Bartos

AHN doctor says next 12 to 24 hours are critical

The highly anticipated Monday night football game left players and fans stunned and in tears.

The Buffalo Bills said 24-year-old Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after a hit in the first quarter. Hamlin tackled wide receiver Tee Higgins, stood up, then quickly fell to the ground.

The Bills said his heartbeat was restored on the field, and he was transported to UC Medical Center for testing and treatment.

AHN cardiologist Dr. Amish Mehta said the next 12 to 24 hours are critical.

"They'll do everything to support his heart rate and blood pressure," said Mehta. "The biggest concern is the amount of duration where his brain may not have been getting blood flow and what kind of injury could be to his brain."

Mehta said doctors will also determine why this happened. 

He said a condition called commotio cordis is just one theory.

"It's a sudden impact to the chest and just a certain time when the heart is beating that causes an electrical abnormality and the heart to stop beating properly. It's associated most commonly with baseball and a player being struck in the chest with a baseball, but it can happen anytime," he said. 

Or Hamlin could have been born with an abnormally thickened heart. 

"That's called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or sometimes the way the arteries come off the main part of the heart," said Mehta. "You're born with an abnormality in where those arteries are located and that can also lead to an irregular heartbeat and sudden cardiac arrest."

Mehta reassured family and fans to stay positive. 

"Fortunately he's young and healthy, so younger individuals are very resilient and the body can certainly adapt to a lot of stresses and that's what we're all hoping for," said Mehta. "It will take time to sort out things and see where things are with him."

Meanwhile, many are keeping the McKees Rocks native, Central Catholic alumnus and Pittsburgh Panthers star in their thoughts and prayers.

Mehta recommends people stay on top of their heart health and become CPR certified to help save a life.

By Briana Smith

Mike Tomlin: 'Just got a lot of respect and love for him'

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin took a moment during his weekly press conference to talk about Damar Hamlin.

"Man, it's a really personal thing for me, being a Pittsburgher, and that young man being a Pittsburgher," Tomlin said. "I've known that guy probably since he was about 12, just got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being, his commitment to the pursuit of his goals and dreams, of doing what it is he's doing right now, which is playing in the NFL."

Tomlin went on to say it's been an honor to get to know Hamlin. 

"I had the opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him," he said. "We played Buffalo each in the last two seasons and he and I get to have a moment because it's just cool to not only appreciate these guys in terms of where they are now but to know them since they were younger people, to watch their maturation and their development, to watch them earn what they've been chasing, is just really a cool thing."

Tomlin also said that he reached out to Bills coach Sean McDermott "to lend whatever assistance I could." 

By Madeline Bartos

Bengals owner Mike Brown: 'Our hearts are with everyone'

Bengals owner Mike Brown released a statement on Twitter, sending "thoughts and prayers" from the team to Damar Hamlin and his family. 

"Our hearts are with everyone in this unprecedented time -- what we can do is support one another," Brown said. 

"Last night was supposed to be a great night for the NFL and a great showcase for our hometown. Instead, the human side of our sport became paramount ... and in that moment, humanity and love rose to the forefront," his statement continued. 

He said both teams demonstrated respect and compassion while medical personnel "undertook extraordinary measures" and acknowledged compassion from fans both in the stadium and around the country. 

Brown ended his statement by saying, "The Bengals are thankful for the love and compassion shown by all. Praying for Damar." 

By Madeline Bartos

Hamlin family releases statement: 'Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us'

The family of Damar Hamlin have released a statement through a representative. 

They express their gratitude for the love and support from the public since last night's horrific incident during the game. In the statement, they also thank the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for the care they have given Hamlin.

"We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country."

Read the full statement here.

By Heather Lang

Tom Brady: 'We're praying for Damar and his family'

NFL great Tom Brady is offering his support and prayers to Damar Hamlin and his family. 

On Twitter, Brady said, "Moments like this put into perspective what it means to play this game we love."

By Heather Lang

CBS News' Dr. David Agus explains Hamlin's injury

"These athletes put their lives on the line for our entertainment": Dr. David Agus explains that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin sustained blunt force trauma to his chest during the tackle with the Bengals' Tee Higgins.

Dr. David Agus on Damar Hamlin's collapse

“These athletes put their lives on the line for our entertainment”: Dr. David Agus explains that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin sustained blunt force trauma to his chest during a tackle on Monday night — warning that player safety needs to be a higher priority.

Posted by CBS Mornings on Tuesday, January 3, 2023
By Heather Lang

EXPLAINER: What happened to Damar Hamlin?

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle during Monday night's game, causing the NFL to suspend a pivotal game against the Cincinnati Bengals that quickly lost significance in the aftermath of a scary scene that unfolded in front of a national television audience.

"Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment," the Bills said in a statement released early Tuesday. "He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition."

The 24-year-old Hamlin was administered CPR on the field, ESPN reported during the broadcast. Teammates surrounded Hamlin, shielding him from public view. Many were weeping and praying while Hamlin was treated on the field by team and independent medical personnel and local paramedics. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Teammate Stefon Diggs later went to visit Hamlin at the hospital while fans of both teams gathered outside, holding lit candles and praying.


Hamlin was hurt while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on a seemingly routine play that didn't appear unusually violent.

Higgins was running with the ball on a 13-yard pass from Joe Burrow when he led with his right shoulder, hitting Hamlin in the chest. Hamlin then wrapped his arms around Higgins' shoulders and helmet to drag him down. Hamlin quickly got to his feet, appeared to adjust his face mask with his right hand, and then fell backward about three seconds later and lay motionless.

Hamlin was down for 19 minutes while receiving medical attention. WXIX-TV in Cincinnati reported that Hamlin required an automated external defibrillator (AED) in addition to CPR on the field.


It took the NFL about one hour after Hamlin collapsed to officially suspend the game because league executives were gathering information and communicating with referee Shawn Smith, coaches from both teams and the NFL Players Association.

Troy Vincent, the league's executive vice president of football operations, said that the NFL's Emergency Action Plan was activated. Vincent communicated with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. Dawn Aponte, the league's chief football administrative officer, was at the game and communicated with Bills coach Sean McDermott and Bengals coach Zac Taylor and the referee.

"It was fluid and things were changing by the minute," Vincent said. "It was obvious on the phone that the emotions were extremely high. It was a very volatile situation."

Vincent refuted ESPN's broadcast report that both teams were given a five-minute warmup period to resume playing.

"I'm not sure where that came from," Vincent said. "It never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That's ridiculous. That's insensitive. That's not a place we should ever be in."


Hamlin spent five years of college at Pittsburgh — his hometown — and appeared in 48 games for the Panthers over that span. He was a second-team All-ACC performer as a senior, was voted a team captain and was picked to play in the Senior Bowl.

Drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, Hamlin played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter this season after Micah Hyde was injured.

In 2020, Hamlin began organizing an annual Christmas toy drive in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pa. By early Tuesday, a community toy drive organized by Hamlin had surged to more than $3.1 million in donations. His stated goal was $2,500.

Bills offensive lineman Rodger Saffold, in a post on Twitter, described Hamlin as a "kind, caring, extremely hard worker." Saffold wrote that Hamlin is "loyal, honest and can always put a smile on your face. He is more than an athlete, he is a son and brother."


The Bills-Bengals game has major playoff implications. Both teams are battling for the AFC's No. 1 seed. The Bills (12-3) entered the game in the top spot while the Bengals (11-4) had a chance to clinch the AFC North with a victory and also were in the mix for the No. 1 seed along with Kansas City (13-3).

The Bengals led 7-3 in the first quarter when the game was stopped.

Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy, said during a conference call shortly after midnight that a time frame for resuming the game was not being considered at the time.

"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," Miller said.

The NFL is entering the final week of the regular season and the playoffs are scheduled to begin Jan. 14.

By The Associated Press

'Pray for Hamlin'

Candles were lit at a vigil outside the UC Medical Center in Cincinnati on Monday night.

Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin Critical After MNF Collapse
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 03: A vigil is displayed at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for football player Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills after he collapsed following a tackle during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was transported by ambulance to the hospital on January 03, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dylan Buell / Getty Images
By Mike Darnay

Another milestone in donations

In just hours, donations for Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser have now passed the $3 million mark. 

By Mike Darnay

Bills release statement on Hamlin's condition

The Bills have released an update on Damar Hamlin.

The team says he went into cardiac arrest and his heartbeat was restored on the field. 

After being transferred to the UC Medical Center, the team says Hamlin is sedated and listed in critical condition. 

By Mike Darnay

Some Bills players remaining in Cincinnati

According to Adam Schefter, the Bills are returning to Buffalo.

Schefter reports that Troy Vincent says some Bills players are remaining in Cincinnati to stay near Hamlin.

By Mike Darnay

$2 million raised for Damar Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser

Less than one hour after Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser surpassed $1 million raised, the total has now surpassed the $2 million mark!

According to the GoFundMe page, The Chasing M's Foundation helps "positively impact the community that raised" Hamlin, who is a McKees Rocks native.   

Just a week ago, Hamlin posted this video to The Chasing M's Instagram page, recapping his latest fundraiser.

By Mike Darnay

NFL provides update on suspension of Bills-Bengals game

In a conference call with NFL executives, NFL Executive Vice President of Operations Troy Vincent said there was no mandate for a five-minute warmup after Hamlin was taken from the field by ambulance.

League executives declined any questions about rescheduling or resuming the game. 

By Mike Darnay

'I'm praying that you pull through bro.'

Bengals wide receiver posted a message on social media.

Higgins was the receiver involved in the play when Hamlin tackled him prior to his collapsing on the field. 

By Mike Darnay

Bengals fans hold vigil for Damar Hamlin

Fans rallied outside of University of Cincinnati Medical Center where Damar Hamlin is being treated. 

By Mike Darnay

Donations for Hamlin's toy drive surpass $1 million

Damar Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser has raised over $1 million on Monday night.

According to the GoFundMe page, The Chasing M's Foundation helps "positively impact the community that raised" Hamlin, who is a McKees Rocks native. 

The goal was $2,500.

He created the foundation in 2020.

By Mike Darnay

'Please continue to pray for Damar and his family.'

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Ira Turner, Hamlin's agent had no update at this time and asked that Hamlin's family is kept in everyone's prayers.

By Mike Darnay

'Please pray for our brother.'

Bills quarterback Josh Allen posted on Twitter.

By Mike Darnay

Health update

Jordon Rooney, Damar Hamlin's marketing representative, provided an update on his status.

"His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat," he said on Twitter. "They are currently running tests."

By Michael Guise

Community rallies for Hamlin's toy drive

Damar Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on Monday night.

According to the GoFundMe page, The Chasing M's Foundation helps "positively impact the community that raised" Hamlin, who is a McKees Rocks native. 

As of 10:30 p..m, more than $600,000 has been raised. The goal was $2,500.

He created the foundation in 2020.

By Michael Guise

Pittsburgh Central Catholic sends heartfelt message

Pittsburgh Central Catholic said it is praying for Damar Hamlin's "well being and swift recovery."

Hamlin graduated in 2016 and went on to play college football at the University of Pittsburgh.

By Michael Guise

Prayers for Hamlin

The football world is praying for Damar Hamlin after his scary injury during Monday Night Football.

"Absolutely speechless.. please pull through Damar!" T.J. Watt said on Twitter.

"Prayers for Bills safety Damar Hamlin, his family and loved ones," Ben Roethlisberger tweeted.

"Damar is one of the coolest dudes from the Burgh I know… Praying for him and his family," Zach Banner said.

"Praying!!!! Lord please be with Damar Hamlin right now," Alex Highsmith added on Twitter.

"Sending prayers My dawg," Devin Bush tweeted Monday night.

By Michael Guise

Update on Hamlin's condition

In a statement, the NFL said Monday night that Damar Hamlin is in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital. 

By Michael Guise

Game postponed for the night

The league has postponed Monday's Bills-Bengals game after Damar Hamlin's injury.

"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills," the NFL said in a statement. "We will provide more information as it becomes available."

By Michael Guise

Players call for game to end

Multilple NFL players have called for Monday's game between the Bills and Bengals to be called after Damar Hamlin suffered a scary injury.

J.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward, among others, said there is no need to finish the game after the injury. 

By Michael Guise

Continuing coverage

Follow along for continuing coverage with KDKA-TV.

By Michael Guise
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