The postponed Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game will not be made up this weekend, but officials said Tuesday it could resume at another time following the horrifying collapse of Bills safety Damar Hamlin.
The key contest between the first-place teams was canceled shortly after 10 p.m. ET on Monday with the NFL says game had been ‘postponed’ — leaving the doors ajar for Buffalo and Cincinnati to possibly restart the game at another time.
Games for Week 18, which will be the final contests of the regular season, will continue as scheduled, the NFL announced Tuesday.
“After speaking with both teams and NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed clubs today that the Bills-Bengals game will not resume this week.” according to a league statement.
“The NFL has not made any decisions regarding the potential resumption of play at a later date. The league has not made any changes to the Week 18 regular season schedule.”
The league statement means the Bills will host the New England Patriots and the Bengals will host the Baltimore Ravens in Cincinnati on Sunday. the ticket game is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, while the Bengals’ start time is to be determined.
Possibly, the NFL could have had Buffalo and Cincinnati play the next weekend and start the playoffs a week late. Under this scenario, the NFL could still play its title game, in time for the February 12 in Glendale, Arizonaif you eliminate the traditional week off leading up to the Super Bowl.
Or the league could still opt out of that logistical nightmare by simply limiting the Bills and Bengals’ 2022-23 season to 16 games each, while the other 30 NFL teams will play 17 games.
The Bills-Bengals game on Monday had significant playoff implications.
Buffalo is looking to be the top seed in the conference, which entails a very important first-round bye in the playoffs. The Bengals still had an outside shot at No. 1 and could have clinched the AFC North had they beaten the Bills on Monday night.
The Bengals led 7-3 in the first quarter when quarterback Joe Burrow completed a 13-yard pass to Tee Higgins, who was tackled by Hamlin.
The play appeared to be routine as Hamlin quickly got up and briefly grabbed or adjusted his own face mask before falling backwards.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.
Doha Madani Y jason abruzzese contributed.