ESPN's broadcast said the NFL had at one point given the teams five minutes to warm up before resuming play. However, Bills coach Sean McDermott and Bengals coach Zac Taylor convened before deciding to take their players off the field.
Following a prolonged delay, the NFL eventually postponed the game. Onlookers commended the head coaches for intervening and making the right call.
"Just remember this was Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor getting this game stopped," Patriots.com's Evan Lazar wrote on Twitter. "League was ready to begin after a five minute warm-up period. Coaches stepped in. Good on them."
"Possible (even likely) that Zach Taylor and Sean McDermott saved the NFL from itself tonight," ESPN's Kevin Van Valkenburg wrote.
"Kudos to Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor for being the adults in the room," Nate Geary of WGR 550 said. "That's leadership, and I gained a lot of respect for the Bengals coach and organization."
"I am so glad that Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor got together and got this game to stop," Marcus Mosher of Pro Football Focus stated.
"McDermott and Zac Taylor did a good job of putting their teams first in this situation," former NFL defensive lineman Ryan Davis said.
Hamlin is in critical condition, per an NFL statement. His marketing rep, Jordon Rooney, said Hamlin's vitals are back to normal, and doctors put him to sleep to insert a breathing tube down his throat.