After postponing the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills game Monday night following Bills safety Damar Hamlin , NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has informed both teams that the game will not be played this week.
In a statement issued by the NFL, the league said that it continues to be in contact with the medical team that is caring for Hamlin, who remains in critical condition while receiving support at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after sustaining a hit with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter of Monday night’s game. The NFL elected to postpone the game roughly an hour after Hamlin was transported off the field via an ambulance.
The league has made no decision regarding when or if the resumption of the game will take place. There has currently been no changes made to the league’s Week 18 schedule. The Bengals are slated to host the Ravens on Sunday, while the Bills are slated to host the Patriots on Sunday.
“We will promptly advise all clubs of any decisions that are made regarding these matters,” Goodell said in the statement regarding any changes to the remainder of the league’s regular-season schedule.
Monday night’s matchup had significant stakes for both team’s playoff aspirations. For Buffalo, a win would move the team a step further toward clinching the No. 1 seed in the conference. If the Bills were to then beat the Patriots in Week 18 or see the Chiefs lose to the Raiders, they’d secure home field. Meanwhile, a Bengals win would give them the AFC North title. It would also keep them with an outside shot at the top seed themselves. In that case, they would need a Week 18 win against Baltimore as well as a Chiefs loss to the Raiders.
Cincinnati held a 7-3 lead before play was stopped. And while football will eventually resume, the thoughts and energies of both teams — as well as the league’s other 30 teams and fan bases — continue to center around Hamlin and his family.
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time,” Hamlin’s family said in a statement that was issued late Tuesday morning. “We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words and donations from fans around the country.
“We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who have provided exceptional care to Damar. We feel so blessed to be part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done.
“Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as soon as we have them.”
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