The Unforgettable NFL Game

Damar Hamlin’s terrifying in-game injury


24 Kinnelon High School students weigh in on if the game should have been cancelled.

Every NFL fan stared at their TV in pure awe and shock. Mouths agape. stomachs with pits that reach miles down. The world seemed to stop and then suddenly continue slowly. A wave of shock passed through the announcers, and the live footage of the game was instantly flipped off. The NFL world wondered what could have possibly happened.


This past week, a tragedy happened in the NFL. On a routine play and tackle, Bills safety Damar Hamlin fell and collapsed on the floor after tackling Tee Higgins on a 13-yard catch. Higgins first made contact with Hamlin’s chest, then his head. After the play, Hamlin stood up because everything appeared to be fine, but when he fell to the floor, he remained there and did not move. Players quickly ushered out the medical staff to assist Hamlin.


When some of the game’s viewers were asked what their initial reaction was to what happened, the renowned result was the same. KHS student and Bills fan Derek Smith said, “It was a very scary moment.” Everyone started to yell for the medical team to come out, and the players all made a circle around him. “When the ambulance came, it was increasingly scary.” Smith has been a longtime fan of the Bills, and it hurt him to see one of the players on his favorite team get injured in such a way.


Spectators and viewers of the NFL game were in a zone of darkness as not even the announcers or the reporters could get any type of confirmation on the story. As the news started to break, more information was given to the announcers, who then released it to the public. At first, Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field, and shortly after nine minutes of CPR were administered, he was able to be lifted into an ambulance to be taken to the nearest and best hospital closest to the Bengals stadium.


After Hamlin was taken off in the ambulance, players were given five minutes to practice before they had to retake the field so that the game could continue. Many players, however, remained seated, overcome by the emotions of what they had just witnessed. No one knew what Hamlin’s exact diagnosis was or whether he was stable or in critical condition. After seeing such a heartbreaking scene, many of the players were against having to play. 


The players and coaches then suddenly left the field as the head coaches came together to talk about what just happened. The team went to their own respective locker rooms to make a decision on whether they felt like they could fully finish the remaining game that they had to play. 

The postponement and future cancellation of the game were discovered about an hour after the game clock stopped. No further rescheduling was done for the game as it became a null game as no score was recorded. 


In a poll taken by 24 spectators of the Bills and Bengals, 17 people agreed with the game being canceled, and seven spectators wanted the game to continue. Junior Scott Sanczyk describes the two opinions and reactions of fans and viewers. There are two views on this. One stance is that after something so horrific happens, the only option is for the game to be canceled. However, at the same time, the winner of the division and playoff seeds as well as the fantasy football championships were in jeopardy.”Both sides of the debate are often talked about, but at the current time, the best decision was to cancel it for the.”


The following week, ideas and prayers were all in the air for Damar Hamlin as players were seen huddling together and praying for Hamlin. Other things were done, such as all of the 3’s on the field were highlighted in a red or blue hue in his honor. As he was in physical therapy, Hamlin was actively attempting to recover so that he could return to the game. After watching such an injury and scenario go down, it was a realization for the league that this game isn’t all about playing, but it’s about putting the people in the league first.

Hamlin has posted videos on social media of him working hard to come back to the league. It takes a lot of work, but Hamlin has seemed to stay dedicated to the work and the craft of the game. At the Bills’ divisional playoff game, Hamlin was able to make the game and watch from an upstairs booth as he is not physically cleared to play football yet again. This was Hamlin’s first visit back to his home stadium in front of the public eyes, and it was something that was heartwarming for all to see. The Bills Twitter page posted Hamlin’s arrival back to the stadium, and the Bills mafia loved it! It shows how much fan bases care for the players on their team.