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Bills-Bengals will not resume this week as Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition

Buffalo Bills offensive tackle covers his face pauses as Damar Hamlin is examined by medical staff
Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Spencer Brown covers his face as Damar Hamlin is treated by medical staff during Monday night’s game in Cincinnati.
(Emilee Chinn / Associated Press)
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Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remained in critical condition Tuesday in the intensive care unit of a Cincinnati hospital, where he was transported after suffering cardiac arrest during a game the night before.

Hamlin, 24, climbed to his feet after making a tackle in the first quarter against the Bengals, then dropped to the ground unconscious. Medical personnel performed CPR on Hamlin for nine minutes and defibrillated him before he was loaded into an ambulance that had been driven onto the field.

“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time,” Hamlin’s family said in a statement released Tuesday. “We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country.

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“We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach [Zac] Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as soon as we have them.”

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest and receiving CPR on the field against the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was postponed.

Jan. 3, 2023

Meanwhile, the NFL has not made a decision about the possible resumption of the Buffalo-Cincinnati game, announcing that the pivotal AFC showdown will not be completed this week.

The league has not made any changes to the Week 18 schedule, which has the Bills playing host to New England and the Bengals at home against Baltimore.

The Bills, Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs are in the mix for the No. 1 seed in the conference, which means a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage throughout the postseason remain up for grabs.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the decision not to resume the game this week after speaking with NFL Players Assn. leadership and representatives of the Bills and Bengals.

Many members of the Bills returned to Buffalo after Monday night’s game was suspended, although some stayed in Cincinnati to be close to Hamlin.

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“The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date,” the league said in a statement.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field Monday night in Cincinnati. Here’s our coverage.

Jan. 28, 2023

Since Hamlin’s collapse, many people have come across a GoFundMe page the player set up in December 2020 to support a Pittsburgh-area toy drive.

As of Tuesday evening, the fund had generated more than $5.4 million in donations.

Hamlin’s initial goal for the fundraiser was $2,500. An archived version of the GoFundMe page shows the drive had raised just less than $3,000 shortly before Monday night’s game. But the response since then has been phenomenal, with the fund serving as an outlet for more than 187,000 people looking for a way to express their concern.

“This fundraiser was initially established to support a toy drive for Damar’s community, sponsored by the Chasing M’s Foundation,” an update to the GoFundMe page read Tuesday morning. “However, it has received renewed support in light of Damar’s current battle and we can’t thank all of you enough. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us.”

Many donors also used the GoFundMe page to leave messages of support for Hamlin. Some made a point that NFL rooting interests don’t matter at a time like this, with fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints among those contributing donations.

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A fundraiser set up by Damar Hamlin has received more than $4.1 million in donations since the Buffalo Bills safety was stricken Monday night.

Jan. 3, 2023

“We are praying for you, your family, and team! First time we’ve watched you play & our heart is broken! We pray you recover & that God will always watch over & protect you! Football is great, but you’re even more special!” donors Lindsay and Chase Yates wrote.

“We need you here with us Damar, so you can continue to shine your light on the world brother! Prayers and love,” David Chamberlain wrote.

“I care about this young man, and I don’t even know him,” Monte White wrote. “Anything I can do to advance this man’s worthy cause I want to do. Praying for his complete healing and full recovery.”

Hamlin grew up in the Pittsburgh area and wrote on the GoFundMe page that he started the Chasing M’s Foundation as a way of “using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me.”

The toy drive was the foundation’s first program and was set up to “positively impact children who have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” he wrote.

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