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Decision is Made on Status of Postponed Bills-Bengals Game

Photo: Dylan Buell

The NFL announced it will not resume the postponed Monday Night Football matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals this week in an official statement shared on Tuesday (January 3).

"After speaking with both teams and the NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the clubs today that the Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week," the statement reads.

"The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date.

"The league has not made any changes to the Week 18 regular season schedule.

"We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available.

Monday's (January 2) game was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed suddenly on the field and was hospitalized, which the team later said was due to cardiac arrest.

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

Hamlin, 24, tackled Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the first quarter of Monday's game and got back to his feet before suddenly falling to the ground. A stretcher and ambulance came onto the field and CPR was administered by first responders.

The second-year safety was reported to be critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed in an official statement on behalf of the league shared Monday night that also confirmed the official postponement of the game.

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

Hamlin was reported to have been intubated, according to FOX 19's Tricia Macke.

Rooney had previously shared an update on Hamlin's status prior to the Bills' statement.

"His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently running tests. We will provide updates as we have them," Rooney tweeted at 10:54 p.m. ET on Monday.

Both teams were at midfield when Hamlin was taken away in the ambulance. Hamlin's family was with him when he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which is located about two miles from Paycor Stadium.

The 24-year-old fell to the ground at around 8:55 p.m. and ESPN diverted its live broadcast from the field to the studio at around 9:08 p.m.

The game was temporarily suspended at 9:17 p.m. before being officially suspended nearly an hour later.

Hamlin, a former standout at the University of Pittsburgh, was selected at No. 212 overall in the sixth-round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 24-year-old started in 13 of the 15 games he appeared in and recorded 91 tackles, six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks during his second season.

"The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar," the Bills' official Twitter account wrote.

"Damar Hamlin is the best of us," the Pittsburgh Panthers football team's official account tweeted. "We love you, 3 Praying for you."

A toy drive launched by Hamlin and his charity, the Chasing M's Foundation, raised more than $3 million hours after his hospitalization.

A total of $3,737,200 was raised as of Tuesday morning, far exceeding the charity's initial goal of $2,500, according to its GoFundMe page.

The top donors listed include All Elite Wrestling star Chris Jericho -- who appears to have made two donations totaling $10,000 -- Carpet Man Flooring and entrepreneurs Satish Dharmaraj and Arash Ferdowsi.

Paycor Stadium was also lit with blue lights honoring Hamlin and the Bills overnight.

Buffalo and Cincinnati currently rank second and third respectively in the AFC playoff picture.

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