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Joe Buck, ESPN maintain NFL told network players had 5 minutes to warm up following Damar Hamlin’s injury

The NFL has denied giving the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals just five minutes to warm up after watching Damar Hamlin go into cardiac arrest and receive CPR during a game Monday night.

However, ESPN and lead “Monday Night Football” broadcaster Joe Buck are holding firm that is what happened.

Buck, in his first year with ESPN after working for Fox from 1994 to 2021, said on air during the broadcast that the teams would have five minutes to warm and resume play. 

In an interview with the New York Post, Buck said the information about the game resuming came from ESPN’s rules expert John Parry, who was in direct communication with the league.

“They said they’re going to give five minutes of a warmup to these players to get ready,” Buck told The Post by phone.

ESPN, the broadcast home of “Monday Night Football” since 2006, said it reported on the air what it was told in real time.

“There was constant communication in real time between ESPN and league and game officials,” ESPN said in a statement. “As a result of that, we reported what we were told in the moment and immediately updated fans as new information was learned. This was an unprecedented, rapidly evolving circumstance. All night long, we refrained from speculation.”

Joe Buck walks across Lambeau Field prior to a game between the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns Dec. 25, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. 

NFL executive Troy Vincent shot down the notion and went as far as calling it “ridiculous” and “insensitive.”

“I’m not sure where that came from,” Vincent said early Tuesday morning. “Frankly, there was no time period for the players to get warmed up. Frankly, the only thing that we asked was that [referee] Shawn [Smith] communicate with both head coaches to make sure they had the proper time inside the locker room to discuss what they felt like was best.


“So, I’m not sure where that came from. Five-minute warmup never crossed my mind, personally. And I was the one … that was communicating with the commissioner. We never … frankly, it never crossed our mind to talk about warming up to resume play. That’s ridiculous. That’s insensitive. And that’s not a place that we should ever be in.”

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin warms up before a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. 

The game was postponed 66 minutes after the hit, and 36 minutes after Hamlin was transported off the field in an ambulance.

The NFL announced earlier Tuesday that the postponed game will not be completed this week, and Week 18, as of now, will be played as is.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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