First and foremost, there’s been some great news about Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin‘s progress since the scary scene during the team’s Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field and had to be given CPR and revived using a defibrillator before being transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition.
Since then, Hamlin has remained intubated and in ICU in critical condition. But today, we learned that Hamlin is awake and “neurologically intact,” even communicating with doctors via writing and asking whether his team won the game.
He’s communicating via writing because he still has the tube in. But he’s as responsive and aware as we could all hope. Incredible.
Of course the game was never completed, with the teams and the NFL making the (obviously correct) decision to postpone the rest of the contest.
And it sounds like the NFL has no plans to finish the game.
According to the AP, the NFL has made the decision not to resume the contest that was postponed in the first quarter with the Bengals up 7-3.
The sources who spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity say that the NFL is still working on figuring out what to do about playoff seeding, given that the game would have had major playoff implications as both teams sit atop their respective divisions of the AFC.
The Bills needed a win against the Bengals to remain the #1 seed in the AFC, a spot which is now occupied by the Chiefs given the no-contest. The Bengals also still remain in the hunt for the top seed, needing two more wins and a loss by the Chiefs.
The NFL is reportedly considering moving the AFC Championship Game, which is generally held at the home stadium of the highest-seeded team in the game, to a neutral site. Another option would be to allow the #1 seed to pick either home field advantage OR the first-round bye week, and give the other to the #2 seed.
Two ideas NFL is considering, per @AdamSchefter instead of playing Bills vs Bengals:
-#1 seed gets to pick EITHER home field advantage OR the bye and #2 seed gets the alternative
-If BUF or CIN in AFC Championship game it becomes a neutral site game
– Not resuming the Bills vs. Bengals game – The league is still sorting out AFC seeding – A neutral site for AFC Championship – Expansion of playoff fields to 8 teams in both the AFC and NFC is possible pic.twitter.com/Az0iU5OHIh