Bills and Bengals fans unite in prayer outside of hospital for Damar Hamlin

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Fans gather outside of University of Cincinnati Medical Center, late Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati, where Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin was taken after collapsing on the field during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean) Jeff Dean/AP

Bills and Bengals fans unite in prayer outside of hospital for Damar Hamlin

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Fans of the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals put their arms around one another and united in prayer outside of the hospital where Bills safety Damar Hamlin is being treated after suffering a scary injury on Monday Night Football.

It was just the first quarter of the game between the AFC rivals when Hamlin absorbed a blow from Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin initially got to his feet, but then collapsed to the ground. Paramedics worked on him before he was carted off in an ambulance and taken to UC Medical Center’s trauma center. The game was delayed for more than an hour before it was postponed.

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Players from both teams were clearly distraught from the scary situation, with both star quarterbacks on the verge of tears. The latest update on Hamlin’s health, from Jordon Rooney, a marketing rep and friend of the player, were that his vitals were back to normal, but he still needed a breathing tube put down his throat.

Despite the intense competitiveness between the two star-studded teams, Monday night showed a rare moment in sports where rival fans unite for a cause bigger than the game. In addition to the shared prayers outside the hospital, other gestures of goodwill were shown throughout Cincinnati and beyond.

A Bengals fan in the stands made a sign for Hamlin after his injury, which read, “Pray for Buffalo #3 Hamlin.”

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Within an hour of Damar Hamlin collapsing on the field, fans donated over $545,000 to Hamlin’s charity, Columbus, Ohio TV news station WBNS reported. As of 1:10 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive GoFundMe page amassed $2,555,350. Donations poured in from people calling themselves Eagles fans, Chiefs fans, and more, with well wishes abound.

The Bills sit at 12-3 on the season and the Bengals’s record is 11-4. Monday night’s game was slated to have huge implications in seeding for the playoffs. However, as intense as the matchup was, the response to Hamlin’s injury was a moment that showcased the camaraderie of the NFL family as a whole.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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