When Life Goes Sideways


Brightyn Mills, Student Journalist

It was just any other game, if not one of the bigger ones of the season, The Buffalo Bills vs the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams were looking for the win on Monday, January 2nd at 8:30 pm to give them leverage in the playoffs. But what happened on the field didn’t help either team, and it left the NFL world speechless.

With just 5 minutes and 18 seconds left in the first quarter, Quarterback Joe Burrow threw the ball to Wide Reciever Tee Higgins to gain the first down. While in play, Saftey Damar Tomlin tackled Higgins. It was just another tackle in a game. Higgins ran into Damar’s chest, and Damar wrapped his arms around him bringing him to the ground. He stood up, took a step, and fell back down. after the tackle and fell back down. At first, people were unsure as to what was happening. Others thought he got a cramp in his leg that made him fall to the ground. And some others didn’t really care, as injuries just happen in football. But this injury was unlike any other you get in football. Damar Tamlin was hit with commodio cordis, a very rare disease that occurs when you experience trauma to your chest that can cause additional waves of electricity to pass through the heart muscle. Thus explaining why Tomlin went down when he tackled Higgins. While they were putting him in the ambulance to leave for the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, he went through cardiac arrest and needed CPR to live. After about ten minutes of CPR, he was breathing again but still needed to go to the hospital immediately. So they put him on a stretcher and brought him to UCMC.

After this scary injury, neither team wanted to play the game. So after Damar was taken off the field, Coaches Sean McDermott and Zach Taylor of the Bills and Bengals got together with the officials and sent all the players, coaches, and staff back to the locker room. During this break, the coaches and officials got together again and were handing a phone around that had Commissioner Roger Goodell on the line, and they were talking about postponing the game. Players were leaving the locker room in their clothes instead of their uniforms, and Stefon Diggs left the locker room in a towel to greet the Bengals players that were coming to be there for the Bills players. The staff of the Bills decided to clean up all their things, and start leaving. Commissioner Goodell postponed the game until further notice.

Mike Tomlin, the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach had something to say about Damar: “It’s a really personal thing for me, being a Pittsburgher and that young man being a Pittsburgher,” Tomlin said of Hamlin on Tuesday. “I’ve known that guy probably since he was about 12. Just got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being.” This injury has been hurting everyone around the NFL, including Tom Brady, who sent $6 million to the GoFundMe in the name of Damar Hamlin.

Now Damar is at UC, where he is alive, and breathing from the ventilator, but only 50% of it, instead of 100% like before. Damar Hamlin is a safety for the Buffalo Bills went down Monday night, and now the world holds it’s breath as we wait to see if Damar is alright.