2023-01-06 · 2 min read · NHL/Hockey
Buffalo Bills free safety Damar Hamlin and Bengals Joe Burrow

Lon Horwedeland and Joseph Maiorana via USA TODAY Sports

Bills-Bengals game officially cancelled as Damar Hamlin's condition improves
In the wake of one of the most frightening scenes ever witnessed in the NFL, the league has decided that Monday’s contest between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will not be rescheduled.
The game was suspended on Monday after Bills free safety Damar Hamlin collapsed shortly after making a tackle and had to be administered CPR on the field.
Players, fans and coaches watched in horror following the scary scene in a game which had massive implications for a pair of playoff-bound teams in the AFC.
Here is the NFL’s rationale behind officially cancelling the Week 17 clash:
  • Not playing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game to its conclusion will not affect which clubs qualify for the postseason. No club would qualify for the postseason, and no club will be eliminated based on the outcome of this game.
  • It would require postponing the start of the playoffs for one week, thereby affecting all 14 clubs that qualify for postseason play.
  • Making the decision prior to Week 18 is consistent with our competitive principles and enables all clubs to know the playoff possibilities prior to playing the final weekend of regular season games.
Evidently, this announcement impacts the playoff scenarios that we outlined earlier this week, as the Bengals and Bills will have each played one fewer game over the 2022 regular season.
Regarding that, the NFL says that in the event that the two teams playing in the AFC Championship Game could have been the #1 seed in the conference and happened to play an unequal number of regular season encounters, the following scenarios may occur:
Scenario 1
If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or tie this weekend – a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Scenario 2
Should Buffalo and Kansas City both lose, and Baltimore wins, or ties on Sunday – a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Scenario 3
If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins – a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
2 - If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in Week 18, it will have defeated Cincinnati, a divisional opponent, twice but will not be able to host a playoff game because Cincinnati will have a higher winning percentage for a 16-game schedule than Baltimore will for a 17-game schedule.
If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are scheduled to play a Wild Card game against one another, the site for that game would be determined by a coin toss.
If Cincinnati wins the Week 18 game or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play one another in the Wild Card round, the game sites would be determined by the regular scheduling procedures.
Heading into this weekend, the Bills got some good news regarding their free safety as Damar Hamlin as they announced that his breathing tube was removed overnight in between Thursday and Friday.
The team released the following update on their Twitter account:
Bills tweeted that Hamlin had his breathing tube removed overnight and he "continues to progress remarkably in his recovery,"

Buffalo Bills Official Twitter @BuffaloBills

The club also confirmed that Hamlin had joined team meetings on Friday morning via FaceTime.
Buffalo wraps up the regular season by hosting the New England Patriots on Sunday, while the Bengals tussle with the Baltimore Ravens.
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By: Joel Lefevre


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