The postponed Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game will not resume and has been called off, the NFL announced Thursday night.
The game was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin had to be resuscitated in the field and remains in the hospital, where his condition has improved since he received 100 percent oxygen from a ventilator.
«This has been a very difficult week,» NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. «We continue to focus on Damar Hamlin’s recovery and are encouraged by the improvements in her condition, as well as the tremendous amount of support and care for Damar and her family from across the country. We are also incredibly grateful for the incredible work of the staff. doctor and congratulate each and every one of them».
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The NFL said resuming play would have resulted in the playoffs being postponed, affecting the standings of all 14 teams. The game also does not influence playoff qualification, only potential qualification.
The league also said that «making the decision before Week 18 is consistent with our competitive principles and allows all clubs to know their playoff chances before playing the final weekend of regular season games.»
With the announcement of the game’s cancellation, the league stated that all clubs will hold a special meeting on Friday regarding the possibility of an AFC Championship Game at a neutral site. If Buffalo or Cincinnati were on the road against a team that played 17 games, the NFL announced the following circumstances:
Buffalo and Kansas City win or tie: A championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City would be at a neutral site.
Buffalo and Kansas City lose and Baltimore win or tie: A championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City would be at a neutral site.
Buffalo and Kansas City lose and Cincinnati win: A Buffalo or Cincinnati championship game against Kansas City would be at a neutral site.
DAMAR HAMLIN ASKED ABOUT BILLS’ GAME OUTCOME AFTER WAKEN UP, DOCTORS SAY
However, if the Baltimore Ravens beat the Bengals this weekend, they will have beaten divisional opponent Cincinnati twice, but they won’t be able to host a playoff game because Cincinnati will have a higher winning percentage for a 16-game schedule. that Baltimore. for a 17-game schedule. This means that the Bengals have clinched the AFC North.
But according to the NFL, «If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are scheduled to play a wild card game against each other, the site for that game will be determined by a coin toss. If Cincinnati wins Game of the Week 18 or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play each other in the wild card round, the playing sites would be determined by regular scheduling procedures.»
«In considering the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption to the league and minimize competitive inequalities,» Goodell said. «I recognize that there is no perfect solution. However, the proposal we are asking ownership to consider addresses the most significant potential equity issues created by the difficult but necessary decision not to play the game in these extraordinary circumstances.»
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The Bills will clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win and a Kansas City Chiefs loss to the Las Vegas Raiders: Buffalo would be 13-3, while Kansas City would be 13-4, so the Chiefs’ winning percentage would be one notch lower.
Hamlin responded to the doctors’ orders and even asked the doctors in writing who won Monday night’s game.