Jan 5, 2023 - Sports

NFL cancels Week 17 Bills-Bengals game

Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills fans react while Bills safety Damar Hamlin (3) is attended to on the field during the game against the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL will not resume the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game that was originally suspended after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field, the league announced on Thursday.

Details: The game was canceled in part because not finishing would have "no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement

Yes, but: It does affect which team would have homefield advantage in the AFC championship game.

  • It could affect the Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens if both teams were scheduled to meet in the Wild Card game.
  • The NFL said it would use a neutral site if needed for the AFC championship game, and a coin-toss to decide where a Bengals-Ravens game would be played.

The big picture: Hamlin was now awake and making "substantial progress," his doctors said Thursday.

  • The 24-year-old was still "critically ill" but appears to be neurologically intact, his team said earlier in the day.

What they're saying: "As we considered the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption across the league and minimize competitive inequities," Goodell said.  

  • "I recognize that there is no perfect solution. The proposal we are asking the ownership to consider, however, addresses the most significant potential equitable issues created by the difficult, but necessary, decision not to play the game under these extraordinary circumstances," he added.
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