NFL Players Return to the Field After Bills’ Damar Hamlin’s Collapse – The New York Times

There will be a number of tributes to Hamlin at all N.F.L. games this weekend. There will be a “pregame moment of support” for him, his No. 3 will be outlined in Bills colors on each 30-yard line, and players will wear pregame shirts and patches honoring him.

Hamlin will also be present in less obvious ways, when players are likely to take a few extra seconds during their pregame prayers before they step onto the field.

But then, perhaps, it will be back to business as usual. “It’s Raiders, and it’s Chiefs,” said Kansas City Coach Andy Reid. “It doesn’t get any better than that, so we’re looking forward to going out there and playing them.”

Any tentativeness will have to be short-lived, as the game has important consequences for Kansas City. At 13-3, the team has the best record in the A.F.C. and hopes to clinch a bye in the first round of the playoffs. With the N.F.L. opting not to resume the Bengals-Bills game that was postponed Monday night after Hamlin’s collapse, Kansas City would clinch a first-round bye if it beats the Raiders or the Bills lose to the Patriots Sunday afternoon.

The first seed would not necessarily guarantee Kansas City home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, however. To compensate for the Bills and Bengals ending the regular season having played one fewer game than the other teams, there are scenarios in which Kansas City could play either the Bills or the Bengals in the A.F.C. championship game at a neutral site to be determined later.

At 6-10, the Raiders are playing only for pride.

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