NFL won’t make up Bills-Bengals game this week following safety’s collapse on-field

Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, in critical condition
Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, in critical condition
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 12:35 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2023 at 12:45 PM CST
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(KCTV) - The NFL will not make up the Bills-Bengals game this week that was suspended Monday night following safety Damar Hamlin’s collapse and cardiac arrest on-field, the NFL said in a statement early Tuesday afternoon.

The move puts into limbo the AFC race for top-seed and first-round bye in the upcoming NFL playoffs. The Buffalo Bills currently hold the #1 seed, but if they are not able to make up the game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chiefs could hop the Bills for the top spot with a win this Saturday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

If that happened, the Chiefs would have a first-round bye, and the Bills would drop to the #2 seed and have to play in the first round the weekend after the regular season.

That said, the NFL has not said whether it would make any sort of special exception to playoff seeding if the Bills-Bengals game is not made up, or whether that game could somehow be made up after this weekend. The league said it “has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date.”

It’s unclear how the game could be made up at a later date, unless the playoffs are pushed back by a week, since the NFL goes straight from the regular season to the playoffs, and at least one of the two teams must play in the first round.

The full NFL statement is as follows:

“The NFL continues to be in regular contact with the medical team caring for Damar Hamlin, and also the Bills and Bengals organizations and the NFL Players Association. After speaking with both teams and NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the clubs today that the Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week. The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date. The league has not made any changes to the Week 18 regular season schedule. We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available.”

Stay with KCTV5 News for more on this developing story.