The NFL was facing its worst crisis in decades as Buffalo Bills defender Dumar Hamlin remained in peril after collapsing during a prime-time game in Cincinnati on Tuesday, leaving America’s biggest It raises new questions about the ever-present serious injuries in sports.
Hamlin, 24, collapsed in the first quarter of Monday night’s highly anticipated matchup against the Bengals, forcing the league to suspend play. As Hamlin lay motionless on the field, with many of his teammates crying nearby, doctors let his heart beat in a suddenly silent stadium.
After Hamlin’s heartbeat recovered and he was taken off the field by ambulance to be taken to the hospital’s trauma unit, the coaches conferred with chair umpire Sean Smith and the players entered the locker room. About 30 minutes later, the league officially postponed the game, and the Bills later returned to Buffalo.
In a short interview on Tuesday, Hamlin’s marketing agent, Jordan Rooney, said Hamlin’s family had no update on his condition but had hope.
“They are strong and optimistic,” Rooney said. “They’re as patient as they can be.” Rooney said he was in the University of Cincinnati Medical Center all night and his family was in constant contact with the Bills.
In a statement Rooney circulated, the family said, “We would like to sincerely thank Dummer for the love and support shown during this difficult time.
The league said in a statement that the Bills-Bengals game will not resume this week and that it has not yet decided if or when the game will end. vying for a lonely goodbye in the first round of the playoffs.
The blackout was a reminder that the NFL has become the most popular league in America despite the constant risk of injury. With the regular season coming to an end and the playoffs on the horizon, the league has seen a number of close matches and phenomenal plays, and has been richly rewarded by broadcasters and sponsors.
But the NFL’s juggernaut flipped into a primetime nightmare, overtaking a national showcase between two championship contenders. The issue of violence, which has always been at the forefront of NFL contests, has once again rocked the league. Hamlin’s cardiac arrest wasn’t a torn knee or a broken ankle. It could cost him his life and was the most horrific type of injury in a sport built on horrific collisions.
The reaction from fans and football veterans was swift, predictable and confusing. Sensing the gravity of the situation, many NFL teams took to Twitter to send their congratulations to Hamlin.
At the same time, TV viewers heard ESPN play-by-play broadcaster Joe Buck say that the players would have about five minutes to get ready to play again just before returning to the locker room. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was seen throwing a football.
“It’s a word we got out of the league, a word we got out of the bottom of the field, but nobody’s moving,” Buck said.
At a press conference about three hours later, the NFL denied it had considered restarting the game.
“Soon, my player’s hat followed,” NFL executive vice president of football operations and former cornerback Troy Vincent told reporters. How do you resume play after seeing what happened in front of you in real time? And that’s how we were thinking about it.”
Whatever the truth, soccer fans and even former stars are once again asking if the game they enjoy is worth the risk. Analyst Ryan Clark said many players think of themselves as modern-day gladiators.
“We use these clichés: ‘Go to war’, ‘I want to die’ and ‘Give everything’.” Clark wrote on Twitter on monday night. “It’s all about the story. It’s a game. It’s a game! You don’t wear a suit or think you can’t go home.”
Coaches, too, appeared to grapple with the dilemma caused by football and the events that upset the league’s hard, fast rhythm.Several team coaches canceled scheduled conference calls with reporters. However, many teams continued to prepare for this weekend’s games.
Hamlin’s collapse isn’t the only reminder of football’s ‘next man up’ culture in a league where the lack of a guaranteed contract motivates players to get back into action as soon as possible. He joined the Bills’ starting line-up in September as a replacement for missing safety Micah Hyde.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Nick Foles left the game on Sunday after being sacked by Giants linebacker Kavon Thibodeau. Listed.
Also on Sunday, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Josh Sweatt carted off the field after attempting a heads-first tackle on New Orleans Saints fullback Adam Prentiss. Sweat remained face down on the ground for several minutes, raising his arms to the crowd as he left the field.he later Vowed to return this season on Twitter.
In September, Bills cornerback Dane Jackson sustained a neck injury that left him unable to move and was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Buffalo. He was discharged the next day and returned to play in October.
Ten days later, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was rushed to the hospital after hitting his head on the turf in a game against the Bengals. A gesture called the fencing reaction, which may be a sign of brain damage.
The concussion highlighted an investigation that began the previous week into how the Dolphins reacted after Tagovailoa appeared to have a concussion in a game against the Bills. Banned players who have exhibited an inability to return to play.
Tagovailoa was again diagnosed with a concussion after being sacked in a game against the Green Bay Packers on December 25.
Injuries and even deaths are not uncommon in football. Several high school soccer players die each year from heat stroke and broken necks. Families and communities are falling apart. Although participation in high school soccer has declined in recent years, it remains the most popular sport among boys.
The NFL is another realm that turns the game into mass entertainment, complete with cheerleaders, packed stadiums, and big name sponsors selling their products. Yet the NFL knows the violence of the game is driving fans away, and has seen families turn their sons to baseball, basketball, and soccer.
As such, the league has taken pains to remind fans that it is using its vast resources to “make the game safer” and to “take the head out of the game.” In 2019, the league also produced a video on how to recognize and rescue players who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest.
But tackle football centers collide with bigger, stronger, faster players every time they go down, and no amount of money, training or goodwill will change that.The best thing the NFL can do is eliminate risk. not to mitigate.
Emmanuel Morgan contributed to the report.