June 20, 2024
Bills vs. Bengals updates: ‘Monday Night Football’ game suspended after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest

The Week 17 game between the Bills and Bengals has been suspended after an extremely scary injury to Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin.

Hamlin collapsed during the first quarter after making a tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Medical staff administered CPR for several minutes before he was transported by ambulance to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Per the NFL, he is currently in “critical condition.” 

The league released the following statement after the game was suspended for the night:

The NFL Players Association also released a statement:

Players were seen in tears as Hamlin received medical attention. Nearly the entire Bills team joined together in prayer as the ambulance left the field. 

It remains unclear when — or if — the remainder of the game will be played. Cincinnati held a 7-3 lead with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter when play was suspended. 

MORE: Damar Hamlin’s charity has received millions of dollars in donations to GoFundMe page since Bills-Bengals postponement 

The Sporting News is tracking live updates as the situation unfolds. 

Bills vs. Bengals score

  Q1  Q2  Q3  Q4 
Bills 3
Bengals 7

Bills vs. Bengals live updates, highlights from ‘Monday Night Football’

(All times Eastern.)

Tuesday, Jan. 3

7:35 p.m. — Hamlin’s uncle, Doriann Glenn, said Hamlin is now using 50 percent of a ventilator instead of 100 percent. Despite having some damage on his lungs, Glenn says “that’s a good thing. That’s a good sign.”

1:32 p.m. — The NFL has also announced that the Bills vs. Bengals game will not be resumed this week. The league has “made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date” as well.

1:26 p.m. — The Bills announce via a statement that Hamlin spent the night in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He remains there in critical condition.

11:49 a.m. — Hamlin’s family releases a statement thanking NFL fans for the “support shown to Damar during this difficult time.” They do not provide any more updates about Hamlin’s condition. 

1:48 a.m. — The Bills offer an official statement regarding what happened to Damar Hamlin.

12:41 a.m. — Paycor Stadium’s lights have gone blue for Damar Hamlin.

12:27 a.m. — The NFL still has not given an indication what will come of the Bills-Bengals game as the Bills return to Buffalo.

12:25 a.m. — NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent attempted to clarify details regarding news that the game would resume after a five-minute warming up period, which angered many. 

12:23 a.m. — The Buffalo Bills team busses depart Paycor Stadium

12:19 a.m. — Tee Higgins, who was involved in the play in which Hamlin collapsed, has tweeted, offering his prayers.

12:15 a.m. — The NFL held a conference call with reporters to provide clarifying details about what occurred in the wake of Hamlin’s injury. Unfortunately, no update was given on his health. 

Monday, Jan. 2

11:55 p.m. — ESPN Bills reporter Alaina Getzenberg has reported the majority of Bills team members have stayed in the locker room at Paycor Stadium. The team buses also still have not left

11:30 p.m. — Contrary to earlier reports, it now sounds like there will be no update forthcoming tonight from hospital officials. 

11:28 p.m. — Hamlin’s agent, Ira Turner, has issued a statement:

11:23 p.m. — In a post on Twitter, Josh Allen has asked for prayers in support of his teammate.

11:16 p.m. — Bills receiver Stefon Diggs was just shown on ESPN arriving at the hospital where Hamlin is receiving treatment. He appears to have traveled to University of Cincinnati Medical Center in an Uber and was on his own. 

11:06 p.m. — Joe Danneman of FOX19 Cincinnati is reporting the Bills are planning on flying back to Buffalo. However, some members of the organization will be staying behind with Hamlin and his family. 

10:53 p.m. — The sports world continues to hold its collective breath as we await an update on Hamlin. As of now, the information remains the same: The Bills safety is in critical condition at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. No players or coaches will be addressing the media tonight. However, local journalists have reported hospital officials are expected to provide an update sometime this evening. 

10:16 p.m. — In an official statement, the NFL has described Hamlin as being in “critical condition.” Here is the full statement from the league:

10:00 p.m. — We have just received word this game has officially been suspended by the NFL. There will be no more football tonight. It remains to be seen when, or if, this game will be completed. But for now, all that matters is the health of Damar Hamlin. 

9:55 p.m. — The two head coaches, Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor, just exchanged words in the tunnel. McDermott was on a phone call, then the two shook hands and spoke briefly. Members of the Bills’ staff have now begun clearing equipment off of the sideline. There’s no official word yet, but it appears very likely this game will be postponed or called off. 

9:45 p.m. — Per ESPN’s broadcast, Hamlin was transported by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. We’re still awaiting information on his condition. Here are the latest updates we have on Hamlin. 

9:28 p.m. — The game remains suspended as we await any sort of information on the condition of Bills safety Damar Hamlin. He collapsed on the field in the first quarter after making a tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. He was taken off the field in an ambulance after medical staff administered CPR for several minutes. As of right now, it’s unclear whether this game will resume tonight or not. But that’s of very little concern at the moment. There are simply no words to describe a situation as scary and unprecedented as this.

9:17 p.m. — The officials just announced this game has been temporarily suspended. Both teams are heading to the locker room. We will continue to provide updates on this situation as it develops. 

9:12 p.m. — Hamlin has been taken away in an ambulance. The entire Bills team was gathered in prayer on the field as it drove away. Hamlin’s current condition is unclear right now. It appears this game will continue shortly, but right now it’s hard to even imagine playing a football game after what just took place. 

9:07 p.m. — ESPN’s sideline reporter Lisa Salters just delivered an update and you could hear the emotion in her voice. Joe Buck reported that the medical staff has been administering CPR to Hamlin. We can only hope and pray for the best right now. A devastating and terrifying situation has unfolded here early in this game. 

9:03 p.m. — This is really a distressing situation. Josh Allen and several other Bills players are in tears as an ambulance has now come onto the field. Really worrying moments in Cincinnati right now.

8:59 p.m. — Scary scene here. Hamlin made the tackle on that last play and initially got up onto his feet, but he staggered and fell back to the turf. The medical staff is bringing a stretcher out. McDermott looks very concerned. 

8:56 p.m. — The Bengals come out swinging once again on their second drive of the night, and a Burrow pass to Tee Higgins picks up 13 yards to quickly move them across midfield. Another Bills defender is down hurt at the end of the play, this time it’s safety Damar Hamlin. Tough start to this game for Buffalo’s defense. 

8:53 p.m. — Allen’s left leg got rolled up on a bit at the end of that drive. It looked like his left knee may have even hyper-extended slightly. He was walking a little tenderly to the sideline, but he’s a pretty tough guy and it doesn’t seem like he’s in any danger of leaving this game. 

Bengals 7, Bills 3

8:51 p.m. FIELD GOAL — Tyler Bass connects from short range to put the Bills’ on the board. 

8:49 p.m. — A mishap on 2nd down brings up 3rd and 3 for Buffalo from inside the Bengals’ 10. Allen drops back and tosses left for Cole Beasley, but it goes off the receiver’s hands and falls incomplete. That will force a field goal attempt. 

8:47 p.m. — A second catch by Diggs picks up another Bills’ first down, then rookie running back James Cook enters the game and rips off two nice runs to move the ball into the red zone. 

8:44 p.m. — On 3rd and inches, Devin Singletary lowers his shoulder and bangs ahead for a first down. Buffalo has the ball across midfield, but they have to burn a timeout on the following play after Sean McDermott doesn’t like what he sees from the defense.  

8:42 p.m. — Buffalo’s first drive of the night starts as it often does — with an Allen completion to Diggs. That picks up 17 yards to pick up a quick first down.

8:41 p.m. — If that first drive is any indication, it could be a long night for this Bills defense. Let’s see how Josh Allen responds. 

Bengals 7, Bills 0

8:38 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Wow, what an incredible start for Cincy! A lightning-quick drive ends in a touchdown after Burrow connects with Tyler Boyd in the back of the end zone! The Bengals have the lead in no time! 

8:36 p.m. — Burrow sneaks it up the middle to convert for a first down. One play later, he throws it over the middle to Hayden Hurst, who attempts a wild hurdle over a defender but gets dragged down inside the Bills’ 15-yard line. 

8:34 p.m. — Joe Mixon gets his first handoff of the night and powers forward to set up 3rd and inches. Buffalo cornerback Taron Johnson was shaken up and is down on the field. 

8:31 p.m. — On the first play from scrimmage, Burrow goes deep down the left sideline to Chase. Tre’Davious White had a hold of Chase in coverage, and that’ll draw a pass interference call. Rough start to the night for White. 

8:30 p.m. — Here we go. Kickoff is just moments away in this massive late-season AFC showdown. The Bengals won the toss and have elected to receive first. Burrow and his offense will take the field to get things underway.

8:21 p.m. — Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have formed another deadly duo recently. Chase hasn’t been held under 7 catches in a game since Week 4 against the Dolphins.

7:53 p.m. — Stefon Diggs: A man of the people. 

7:35 p.m. — This duo has been outstanding once again this season. They’ll need to be at their best in one of their biggest tests of the season tonight. 

7:23 p.m. — Joe Burrow has his team playing some great football at the right time. Can he and the Bengals topple the AFC’s top dog tonight?

What time is the NFL game tonight?

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 2
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

The game is scheduled to kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET from Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The weather forecast calls for cloudy skies with temperatures in the high 50s Fahrenheit and a chance of thunderstorms later in the evening. 

What channel is Bills vs. Bengals on today?

  • TV networks: ESPN (U.S.) | TSN1/3/4, RDS2 (Canada)
  • Live stream: ESPN.com, ESPN App, ESPN+, fuboTV (U.S.) | DAZN (Canada)

Buffalo and Cincinnati will face off on the final “Monday Night Football” broadcast of the season. ESPN will be airing the game nationwide in the United States, with Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentary) and Lisa Salters (sideline reporting) on the call from Cincy.

Fans in the United States looking for a live stream can find one on fuboTV, which offers a free trial. Other options include ESPN.com, ESPN+ or the ESPN App. 

Viewers in Canada can tune in on TSN 1/3/4 or RDS2, or via live stream with DAZN, which features every NFL game

Sporting News’ Jacob Camenker also contributed to this report.