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Players’ reaction to Hamlin’s collapse was crucial in postponing the game

At an open press call late Monday night, NFL leaders shared details on their decision-making process after Damar Hamlin’s mid-game collapse.

“Once the player was down, game stopped” and a pre-planned emergency action plan went into effect, said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations.

“Obviously we saw the coaches, players, and those who tuned into the game all traumatized.”

Vincent, a former NFL cornerback, added that he had no thoughts at the moment about the competition, saying: “Nothing else mattered but the care of Damar.”

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he added.

Dawn Aponte, the NFL’s chief football administrative officer, said the league was in “constant communication with both teams,” and their decisions were guided by medical advice.

The Buffalo Bills, Hamlin’s team, is returning to Buffalo Tuesday morning, though a handful of players would stay behind, the NFL said. They added that next steps regarding the game would come “at an appropriate time,” but the priority was Hamlin’s wellbeing.

Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications, said the league does not have an update on Hamlin’s condition beyond what was released earlier. The NFL’s initial statement had said Hamlin was in critical condition at the hospital.

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