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Bengals-Ravens to play early game on Sunday

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs after a catch as Baltimore Ravens safety Geno Stone (26) defends in the fourth quarter during an NFL Week 5 game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Nfl Cincinnati Bengals At Baltimore Ravens Oct 9 0318

The NFL announced Wednesday that the Week 18 game between the host Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens will be played at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Kickoff time for the game had been TBD pending the result of the Bengals-Buffalo Bills game Monday night. Had the Bills beaten the Bengals, the league would have made Bengals-Ravens a 4:25 p.m. ET kick. The Bengals would have clinched the AFC North by beating the Bills, putting the game against the Ravens in the early window.

The Bills-Bengals game, of course, was suspended after Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field in the first quarter.

So, now the Bengals (11-4) can clinch the AFC North by beating the Ravens (10-6) on Sunday. If the NFL opts to cancel the suspended Bills-Bengals game before Sunday, Cincy clinches the AFC North before it even plays the Ravens.

If the Bengals lose to the Ravens, the AFC North outcome hinges on the completion – or not – of the Bills-Bengals game. If the league opts to finish the game, the Bengals would be in a must-win situation to beat the Bills to clinch the AFC North.

Both the Bengals and Ravens have already clinched a spot in the postseason. The Bengals are currently the No. 3 seed in the AFC while the Ravens are No. 6.

It’s unclear when the NFL will render a decision about the fate of the suspended Bills-Bengals game.

–Field Level Media