The “Monday Night Football” game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals was suspended in the first quarter after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after a hit and was taken off the field by ambulance.
Hamlin, 24, received CPR on the field, according to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” announcers. ESPN reporters desribed the sight of Bills players opening weeping as the team gathered on the field.
About 23 minutes after Hamlin collapsed, Bills coach Sean McDermott and Bengals coach Zac Taylor conferred and called a temporary suspension of the game. Hamlin is a second-year NFL player and was in his second season with the Bills. He was transported to the nearest trauma center to Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. ESPN announcer Joe Buck reported that Hamlin’s mother was on hand for the game and accompanied him to the hospital.
The score was 7-3 Bengals at the time the game was halted with about 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. Hamlin left the field in the ambulance about 9:25 p.m. ET.
“It’s really tough,” said “MNF” in-studio anchor Suzy Kolber. “All we want, all everyone in this world wants is to know is that Damar Hamlin is going to be OK.”
Kolber and “MNF” analysts Adam Schefter and Booger McFarland were deep into analyzing the pivotal game for two top contenders in the AFC East. But the discussion turned somber after Hamlin went down. McFarland, a former player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts, looked stunned and he, Kolber and Schefter sought to make sense of the shocking development.
“MNF” announcers Buck and Troy Aikman were also left with few words but expressions of support for Hamlin and both teams. As the suspension wore on, the ESPN team began to voice the sentiments of football fans across social media that the NFL should call the game.
“We’re done playing football tonight,” McFarland said at about 9:40 p.m. ET.
ESPN’s cameras shifted to outside the entrances to both team’s locker rooms. Viewers saw a grim-faced McDermott and Taylor conferring, and there were clear signs that Bills players and team staffers were starting to pack up for the night.
More to come
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