NFL teams unite in tribute to Damar Hamlin on social media

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As the sports world rallies around Damar Hamlin, NFL teams are expressing their support on social media.

All 32 teams changed their Twitter icons on Tuesday to an image of Hamlin's Buffalo Bills jersey alongside the caption "Pray for Damar."

Twitter/@BuffaloBills
Twitter/@BuffaloBills

The Bills later acknowledged the support of their fellow teams with a Twitter video.

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Teams made the change Tuesday afternoon as news of Hamlin's status broke. The Bills safety was hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest during Monday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He collapsed on the field after a direct impact to his chest while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. Medics were able to restart his heartbeat on the scene, and he was transported to a Cincinnati hospital in critical condition.

The Bills announced on Tuesday that Hamlin remained in critical condition, a day after he was hospitalized.

"Damar Hamlin spent last night in the intensive care unit and remains there today in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center," a team statement from early Tuesday afternoon reads.

The NFL postponed the game Monday night. It announced on Tuesday that the game will not be resumed this week, and the Week 18 schedule remains unchanged.

FILE - Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin (3) leaves the field after an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. Hamlin was in critical condition early Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, after the Bills say his heart stopped following a tackle during the Monday Night Football game, which was indefinitely postponed. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper, File)
Damar Hamlin. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)

Hamlin's on-field condition is unprecedented in the NFL, as is the league's response. The NFL has previously continued play through significant on-field injuries, including the spinal cord injury that paralyzed Detroit Lions offensive lineman Mike Utley during a 1991 game against the Los Angeles Rams. As the seriousness of Hamlin's condition became clear on Monday, the NFL issued a temporary suspension of the game before reaching the decision to call it off.

How to move forward remained unclear on Tuesday as Hamlin's condition remained critical. The NFL has logistical issues to navigate and a playoff field to set after next week's regular-season finale. The Bills and Bengals play prominent roles in the AFC playoff picture with Buffalo in competition for the conference's No. 1 seed.

But these otherwise paramount issues stand in the shadow of Hamlin's condition a day later. And for now — as the league, its fans and Hamlin's friends and family hope and pray for the best — football remains secondary.