Jets head coach Robert Saleh on Damar Hamlin: ‘It’s an unfortunate tragedy’


The entire NFL is shaken up after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field during their game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night.

Jets coach Robert Saleh allowed the team to express their thoughts about the situation during Wednesday morning team meetings.

“It’s an unfortunate tragedy,” Saleh said. “Our doctors were in there and I gave the doctors the forum to speak on that too.

“It’s a very hard situation as I’m sure it is in every building in the NFL right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and we are hoping for a speedy recovery.”

During Monday Night Football, CPR was administered to Hamlin after he went into cardiac arrest on the field after he collapsed following his tackle of Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins led with his right shoulder and appeared to his Hamlin in his chest. Hamlin quickly got up after the tackle, was on his feet for about three seconds, and promptly collapsed.

Trainers came out to check on Hamlin as a stretcher was brought to the field. Both the Bengals and Bills players came out to the field as Hamlin received medical care as he received oxygen, according to the ESPN broadcast.

Eventually, Hamlin was placed in the ambulance and taken off the field around 15 minutes after he collapsed as he was driven to the nearby University of Cincinnati Medical Center. With the Bills vs. Bengals score 7-3, the game was temporarily paused before the NFL ultimately postponed it.

Hamlin remains in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The Bills have announced they will hold walkthroughs and meetings on Wednesday but will not have any media availability.

The NFL announced Tuesday that the game against Bills-Bengals will not resume this week as the league is undecided on resuming the game at a later date. The Week 18 schedule will go on as scheduled, as the Bills will host the Patriots and the Bengals will be at home against the Ravens.

“I don’t think it ever leaves — you know don’t think it ever leaves you on how — you know, when I’ve gotten up here and I’ve talked about how these young men deserve everything they’ve got. They have earned it all,” Saleh said.

“And they deserve to have as much as they’re asking for and they deserve whatever the NFL is giving them. It’s because we know what they do every day. We know how hard it is to play this game. And it is not just playing the game of football, it’s the preparation and how much their bodies hurt every day.

“You look at guys like Duane Brown and George Fant and how much they’re sacrificing just to step out on the field. I think it is a giant punch in the gut to everyone, especially how outside of NFL circles, who just watch it and lack the actual empathy to put themselves in the shoes of these football players, and what they go through on a daily basis.”

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