A scary on-field incident that saw an NFL player experience cardiac arrest during a game has resonated throughout the pro football community, says a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was given CPR on the field in Cincinnati on Monday night when he immediately fell over after making a tackle. As of Tuesday morning, he was listed in critical condition in an Ohio hospital.
Veteran Bombers linebacker Adam Bighill told 680 CJOB’s The Start he was watching the game on TV with his family when the incident occurred.
“It’s scary. Even my kids were watching the game and were really concerned and didn’t want to leave the TV because they wanted to make sure he was OK,” Bighill said.
“It was a strange thing that happened, and I don’t want to speculate into why or how or what … but really just want him to be OK. That’s what lots of players want.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Damar Hamlin, the @BuffaloBills and our football community.
— Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) January 3, 2023
Bighill said although he’s never seen a teammate experience a situation as severe as Hamlin’s, he’s seen plenty of on-field injuries in his career, and this kind of incident hits close to home for everyone involved in the sport.
The decision by the coaches of both teams, as well as the NFL, to stop the game after Hamlin collapsed was likely the right one, he said, as players wouldn’t have been emotionally ready to carry on.
“Emotionally, it puts you in a place where you’re not ready to be giving it all like you’re supposed to,” he said.
“If your mind can’t focus on the task at hand … then there’s likely going to be more injuries. If it’s going to be weighing on people’s minds, it’s probably safe not to finish the game.
“I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to try to stay focused and act like nothing happened and go about business as usual.”
Because of the intense nature of pro sports and football’s relatively short season, Bighill said players — and their families — become much closer than just co-workers, and that tight-knit nature would make something like this even more devastating for Hamlin’s teammates.
“It is like a giant family. We spent so much time together — literally, every single day. … You get to learn about people’s families, you get to know their kids when they come in the locker room, you get to know their spouses.
“Wives get together and hang out and make friendships, the kids make friendships. It’s unique and what makes this game so great.”
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