NFL disputes five minute warmup claim after Damar Hamlin injury

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

ESPN’s broadcast suggested players were originally given five minutes to warm up after Damar Hamlin left the field. The NFL has pushed back on that.

Monday Night Football ended after less than a full quarter of play between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

In an unprecedented moment, Damar Hamlin made a play to tackle Tee Higgins, got up, and fell down. After being down for several minutes and receiving CPR, Hamlin was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the Cincinnati area’s only level one trauma center where his vitals were stabilized and he was intubated, according to everything that is known so far. The team reported he suffered cardiac arrest.

Players leaving in ambulances is never normal, but typically, there is at least a glimmer of hope from the player that they’ll be OK. A thumbs up, a wave to the crowd. This was different, and the ESPN broadcast of the game captured the tense nature of the moment in the reaction from players and coaches.

The broadcast also suggested players were told they would have five minutes to get loose and warm up and get the game going again after Hamlin left the field. Quickly, head coaches Zac Taylor and Sean McDermott had a discussion, and shortly thereafter, players retreated to their locker rooms.

NFL pushes back on the idea that players would have five minutes to warm up

The NFL has pushed back on the claims that players were told they would have just five minutes to regain composure and get physically ready to go. In the moment, that was chastised as a tone-deaf push from the league by viewers and commentators.

On a conference call that occurred Monday night, the NFL’s Executive VP of Football Operations Troy Vincent said the five-minute warmup period was never suggested by the league, and in fact, no discussions on a plan to resume play had occurred at all, according to Vincent.

Whether it was the league’s call or a stand by the players and coaches, the right call was ultimately made to postpone the game.

Next. Everything to know about Damar Hamlin's injury. dark