It was a frightening scene at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati during Monday Night Football, as a seemingly routine hit on Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin sent chills throughout the football world — and beyond.
The Bills defensive back had suffered a severe blow to his chest from Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. After Hamlin was laid out, he stood up, wobbled, and then collapsed in a heap on the turf.
One of the freaky things about the Damar Hamlin hit is that it looked so routine. Blow to the upper chest. Slight glance off the helmet. Then he stands up and completely collapses. Disturbing stuff. #PrayersforHamlin 🙏 pic.twitter.com/YhO09uPpZO
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) January 3, 2023
The replay from various angles and the fact that Hamlin had stood up after the hit suggested that it was not a spinal cord injury, but it could be cardiac-related.
The Buffalo Bills on early Tuesday put the speculation to rest with a statement.
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. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals,” the official Buffalo Bills account tweeted. “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.”
According to a friend and marketing representative for Hamlin, “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.”
Update on Damar:
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.
— Jordon Rooney (@jordonr) January 3, 2023
Tricia Macke of Fox19 reported, “I am told that Damar Hamlin has been intubated and is currently listed in critical condition.”
I am told that Damar Hamlin has been intubated and is currently listed in critical condition. @fox19
— Tricia Macke (@FOX19Tricia) January 3, 2023
The New York Times reported that Hamlin was given CPR for nearly 10 minutes, which is a critical cut-off time for the procedure. Lack of oxygen to the brain for longer than ten minutes can lead to extensive brain damage.
Medical personnel administered CPR and attended to him for 10 minutes as players from both teams were visibly upset, some shedding tears on the sideline while others circled together and knelt in prayer. One medical professional appeared to administer an IV. Hamlin was later placed on a stretcher and transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The 24-year-old players’ cardiac arrest following a blow to the chest set off speculation that it may be vaccine-related.
Dr. Peter McCullough reportedly texted Steve Kirsch and gave his professional opinion:
“I watched the play live both as a fan and a cardiologist and I saw blunt neck and chest trauma, a brief recovery after the tackle and then a classic cardiac arrest. I have communicated to one of the most experienced trainers in the world and we agree that it was a cardiac arrest in the setting of a big surge of adrenalin. If Damar Hamlin indeed took one of the COVID-19 vaccines, then subclinical vaccine-induced myocarditis must be considered in the differential diagnosis. We have been told he was successfully defibrillated on the field and has been intubated and is not spontaneously breathing which is consistent with anoxic encephalopathy. The nation prays for his complete recovery.”
Steve Kirsch added: “Note that McCullough originally speculated that the injury that Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was due to commotio cordis (a phenomenon in which a sudden blunt impact to the chest causes sudden death in the absence of cardiac damage). The time delay from the hit until he collapsed is expected in commotio cordis. Peter believes that the ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation could have been set up by the vaccine if he took it.”
“Hamlin was shocked back to rhythm,” Kirsch continued. “He now has anoxic encephalopathy. He’s in critical condition at the hospital.”
However, there is no conclusive evidence that this specific case is tied to the mRNA shots. There is scientific evidence tying the mRNA shots to subclinical and clinical myocarditis, as was recently corroborated by a Swiss study.
This is not the first incident in NFL history where a player was believed to have been killed in a game. In 1971, Lions player Chuck Hughes died as the Bears’ Dick Butkus waved frantically for help. The Patriots’ Darryl Stingley was knocked out by Raiders legend Jack Tatum in a 1978 exhibition game and lost his ability to walk. The New York Jets’ Dennis Byrd was paralyzed in a freak collision during a game against the Chiefs in 1992. He would later die at age 50 in a car accident. Steelers’ linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a devastating spinal cord injury in a 2017 game. He has since regained the ability to walk. The Buffalo Bills had another injury scare this year as safety Dane Jackson dodged a major spinal cord injury.
The National Football League reportedly did not cancel the Bills-Bengals game tonight. The Buffalo Bills’ and the Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching staff and players made it clear to the league their participation in the game would not continue. The football game was subsequently suspended and will be played at an undisclosed date.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.