Though it’s been the prevailing feeling for the last 24 hours, the Associated Press reports the NFL has decided not to resume Monday night’s game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. A game that was suspended with 5:58 in the first quarter after Bills’ safety and Pittsburgh native Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and had to be revived by medical personnel.
From the AP’s Rob Maaddi.
“The NFL will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league is still figuring out how to determine playoff seedings and scheduling. The NFL Players Association must approve changes.”
The NFL has not publicly announced a decision but it would be a shock to see this game being played under any circumstances. Assuming the game isn’t played, the Bengals and Bills will only play 16 games this season. As the AP report notes, the league is still determining playoff implications over seeding, home field advantage, and any potential schedule changes.
The league could solely seed the AFC based on winning percentage or they could tweak the format even more. Earlier today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter floated the ideas the league’s considering.
Right now, nothing has been made official by the league. But Bills/Bengals is almost certain to be cancelled, either declared a tie or more likely, a no-contest. From there, we’ll see what the league decides.
Most importantly, Hamlin is steadily improving. In a press conference from doctors Thursday afternoon, they reported Hamlin is awake and responsive and appears to be “neurologically intact.” He remains in critical condition but doctors have already begun mapping out a path to him being sent home once he’s stable and breathing on his own.
Once the NFL makes any decisions final, we’ll be sure to pass them along. The league has cemented its Week 18 schedule with the Bills playing the New England Patriots Sunday at 1 PM/EST.