BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — Two days after Damar Hamlin was injured in the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night, members of the opposing team addressed what happened for the first time.
Less than 10 minutes into the competition at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after a tackle and collapsed on the field. After performing CPR in the field, he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.
In briefings on Wednesday, Bengals players and coach Zach Taylor described what it was like on Monday and beyond.
“It’s something I’ve never seen on a soccer field,” said quarterback Joe Burrow. “Something was and still is scary and emotional as you try to get around people [who] You love and whoever loves you and treats it the way everyone else does. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it.”
Bengals players have discussed that although they may not know Hamlin personally, there is a brotherhood among all NFL players.
“We all felt the same way,” Burrow said. “We’re all brothers in this thing. We’re all part of the same organization, playing this game we like for each other. I didn’t know how to act about it, I was just trying to get out there and show unity and show support.”
“We see injuries all the time, but something like that is not what you see on the football field. And then the pure emotions of everyone there, I don’t know how you tell the guys to get back out there and carry on the football game after that,” added Bengals defensive tackle DJ Reeder. “How do you feel about him, and his family, just seeing him being taken away in the cart, going to the hospital and finding out what they have to do.” Reeder said he knew that once that happened, he wouldn’t be able to continue with the rest of the game.
Taylor described the scene in the 66-minute time frame when Hamlin went down at 8:55 p.m. to the time the game was called at 10:01 p.m.
I won’t reveal any of the private conversations, Sean [McDermott] When I got there, the first thing he said was, “I should be in the hospital with Damar and I shouldn’t be coaching this game,” Taylor said. “That, to me, provides all the clarity. Unprecedented is the word that gets thrown around a lot about this situation because that’s what it is, but in that moment, it really showed who he was. All of his focus was on Damar.”
He later described the scene when the Bengals’ captains visited the Bills’ locker room to show support once the teams left the field.
“They told me they wanted to talk to the captains for the bills. Right now I wasn’t sure how to get that information, I wasn’t sure what was the right thing to do,” Taylor said. “But when I saw both of these kits And the players react, I immediately knew this was the right decision. I think both sides need that.”
He said he understands the Bills’ feelings, too.
“Make no mistake, this was a guy in their locker room who they had deep relationships with, helped grow and develop, and spent a lot of time with,” Taylor said.
The Bengals, along with the rest of the NFL, continue to hope for a positive outcome.
Taylor said, “We’re all praying for the best possible outcome here.”