Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Gabrielle Settles
By Gabrielle Settles January 6, 2023

Higgins is not stationed at the hospital with Hamlin; he is attending Cincinnati Bengals’ practices

If Your Time is short

  • Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins has attended practices while remaining in contact with the family of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who was injured after colliding with Higgins during a Jan. 2 game.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin woke up and is recovering from the cardiac arrest he suffered Jan. 2 during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

But misinformation is spreading about Tee Higgins, the Bengals wide receiver who collided with Hamlin. Viral social media posts claim that Higgins has not left Hamlin’s side.

"Let's not forget to send prayers to Tee Higgins. Outside of immediate family he has been taking this very hard. Some very ignorant people saying he is the cause of Hamlin's cardiac arrest. He isn't even leaving the hospital till he knows Hamlin is OK," read the caption on a Jan. 4 Facebook post

A Twitter user posted the same day: "There is one young man that I think a lot of us are forgetting to lift up in prayer in the past 72 hours, and that is Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals. Higgins is beside himself with guilt, and has not left the hospital since Damar Hamlin arrived Monday night."

The Facebook post was flagged as part of the platform’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)

Higgins was "visibly distraught" after the injury, CBS Sports reported, and he has spoken out about his hopes for Hamlin’s recovery. NFL players and Hamlin’s family have defended Higgins against blame

Featured Fact-check

But the social media posts exaggerate the situation by saying Higgins has not left the hospital. He has been attending practices to prepare for the Bengals’ next game against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 8. 

A video went viral of a teammate cheering up Higgins during practice the day after Hamlin’s injury. 

Higgin’s hit against Hamlin was a routine play; Higgins had the ball and was running downfield when he ran into Hamlin, who tackled him to stop the play. That’s when Hamlin experienced a cardiac arrest that medical officials have called a possible case of commotio cordis, a rare occurrence that happens when a blow to the chest causes the heart to stop suddenly. 

Higgins spoke to reporters following a Jan. 5 practice, after news that Hamlin had awakened.

"Damar’s mom texted me this morning, and told me about everything, and it made me feel even more at home," Higgins said, speaking of his relief. "I really appreciate them, you know, just hearing from them and them having my back as well." 

We rate the claim that Higgins "isn't even leaving the hospital till he knows Hamlin is OK" False. 

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Gabrielle Settles

Higgins is not stationed at the hospital with Hamlin; he is attending Cincinnati Bengals’ practices

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up