This is usually the most exciting time of the year for the NFL. The regular season is ending, and the playoffs are just a week away.
But all that seems trivial after Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest while making a tackle in the Buffalo-Cincinnati game Monday night on national television..
Medical personnel quickly revived him and he was rushed to the hospital where he remains sedated in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the game was postponed and it is uncertain if it will be played. It is also uncertain if the Bills regular season finale against the Patriots will be postponed. The Patriots can clinch the final wild card spot with a win if it is played Sunday.
The Bills have clinched their division title and needed to win their final two games to clinch the top seed but that is the last things on the Bills’ minds these days.
The injury he suffered was another reminder of how dangerous it is for the players to play in the NFL and the risks they take.
It is believed the only player to actually die on the field because of heart problems was Chuck Hughes in 1971 while playing for the Lions against the Bears. It happened with about 62 seconds left and they finished the game but the NFL wasn’t then what it is today. His widow, Sharon, now 77, told NBC News she was very emotional when she saw Hamlin go down. She said she never blamed football for her husband’s death.
But Hamlin’s injury will raise more questions what the NFL can do to protect the players and whether parents even want their sons to play football. And many players suffer negative effects from playing decades after they leave theg game.
In the NFC, Philadelphia, which has lost two games with backup Garden Minshew at quarterback, can clinch the top seed with a win over the Giants or Dallas loss to the Commanders. Jalen Hurts may return for the Eagles.. Green Bay can clinch the final playoff spot by beating Detroit.
The Jacksonville-Tennessee winner will win the AFC South and host a playoff game. Tennessee has lost six in a row after being 7-3 and is still alive.
But Hamlin’s injury has overshadowed the rest of the NFL season until the doctors determine if he will recover.