Family of Bengals’ Tee Higgins slams suggestion that wide receiver was to blame for Damar Hamlin’s situation

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The mother of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins has responded to criticism from former NFL linebacker Bart Scott about the play that preceded Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s medical emergency.

Scott, who now works for ESPN, tried to break up the play in which Hamlin tackled Higgs, got up and then fell to the ground, resulting in a scary situation. The former New York Jets star said Hamlin didn’t seem ready for Higgins to lean on his chest.

“Just before the tackle, [Higgins] lowers his helmet and throws his body towards [Hamlin’s] “He’s on his feet because he thinks he has to go after Tee Higgins at an angle to make a tackle, so he didn’t expect Tee Higgins to throw his body at him. It’s one of those things you see as a linebacker.”

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Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals warms up before the New England Patriots game at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
(Nick Grace/Getty Images)

Scott received criticism for suggesting that Higgins was to blame for the entire ordeal.

Camilla Stewart, Higgins’ mother, reacted with an emoji. Higgins’ father, Eric, also told ESPN that he was pleading with pundits and critics to stop blaming his son for the situation. The wide receiver also offered his thoughts and prayers to Hamlin at a difficult time.

Prior to his analysis of the play, Scott shared the same sentiment as everyone who witnessed it, saying, “What we saw last night was not normal.” However, she mentioned that “we’ve seen that punch 1000 times and we’ve never seen this result.”

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“The fact that we couldn’t get [a thumbs up] it just leaves us holding our collective breath because all we want [is] our brother, our teammate, our friend to be well. It’s that collective sigh of relief that we keep waiting for,” he said.

Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Nashville.

Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Nashville.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Doctors at the hospital got “promising readings that they were hoping to see,” ESPN reported, citing Jordon Rooney and the Hamlin family. Rooney reportedly added that there seemed to be “progress”. Hamlin was still in the ICU sedated and considered in critical condition.

Rooney also clarified to the outlet that Hamlin only needed to be resurrected once, at Paycor Stadium. Dorian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told CNN Tuesday night that Hamlin’s heart needed to be reset a second time.

Rooney also warned that Hamlin still had a “long way to go in his recovery”, but the family was optimistic.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin before a New York Jets game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on January 9, 2022.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin before a New York Jets game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on January 9, 2022.
(Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)

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Rooney has said that he is a friend and marketing representative of Hamlin’s. He issued a statement on behalf of the family Tuesday afternoon. It is unclear how close he is in contact with the doctors treating the player.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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