ESPN Reporter Claims NFL Wanted To Resume Bills-Bengals Game After Damar Hamlin Injury But Teams Stopped Them

If this is true, it’s a pretty bad look for the NFL.

A report on Monday night from ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. goes in-depth into the decision to stop last Monday’s game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals after defensive back Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and needed CPR to be resuscitated.

Van Natta quoted a team official as saying, “The league did not cancel the game. The Bills and the Bengals canceled the game.”

Per the report:

That final decision might have belonged to (NFL commisioner Roger) Goodell, but the first instinct not to play came on the field in Cincinnati.

“The ambulance left the field … and it was crystal clear from everyone’s perspective that we could not play,” the top team official said. (Chief football administrative officer Dawn) Aponte was speaking nonstop to NFL executives in New York and coaches and officials at the game. “The only chaos was coming … from the command center.”

The team official placed blame for the league’s vacillation squarely on Vincent.

“The league screws this s— up because Troy Vincent screws this stuff up,” the official said. “That’s the wrong person in the wrong position at the absolute wrong time. … He wants to be the hero, but he will never take accountability. That’s him to a T.”

Hamlin spent several days recovering at UC Medical Center. He was released Monday and transferred to a hospital in Buffalo.