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NFL Week 18 schedule remains unchanged, Bills-Bengals game won’t resume for now

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While it plays second-fiddle to the scary situation we saw Monday night in Ohio, the NFL Week 18 schedule is now a topic of discussion.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know the situation at hand. Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was transported from Paycor Stadium to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after a hit in the first quarter on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins required the defensive back to receive CPR on the field.

Hamlin, 24, remains in intensive care a the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with no further updates available on his status. What we do know is that the CPR he received on the field likely saved the young man’s life.

Without some sense of clarity regarding Hamlin’s status, the NFL still had to make a decision regarding its Week 18 slate as well as the future of the aforementioned Bills and Bengals game.

In a statement, the league announced that Buffalo’s road game against Cincinnati will not resume this week. No further decision has been made on the future of said game.

“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 the NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed clubs today that the Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week.”

NFL statement on Bills-Bengals Week 17 game

It’s not yet known what’s going to happen with this game moving forward. While it plays second-fiddle to Hamlin’s health, there’s certainly an on-field component to it all.

Buffalo and Cincinnati are battling with the Kansas City Chiefs for the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. Now that this game won’t be played before the NFL Week 18 schedule, there’s a lot of components that come into play.

First off, simply canceling the game would cause some tiebreaker issues when it comes to the playoffs. If this game were played after Week 18, it would push the playoffs back a week.

NFL Week 18 schedule remains unchanged

nfl week 18 schedule
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For now, Buffalo is slated to take on the New England Patriots at home Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM ET. Cincinnati is set to go up against the division-rival Baltimore Ravens in a game that could decide the AFC North title.

No decision has been made regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date and we have not announced any changes to this weekend’s schedule. We will promptly advise all clubs of any decisions that are made regarding these matters.”

League memo to teams relating to NFL Week 18 schedule

It seems unreasonable to believe that the Bills would be able to take to the field with one of their own in ICU. With that said, the NFL has left open the possibility of moving things around to take into account the mental well-being of those involved in Monday’s scary situation.

What we do know is that the league is now planning to go forward with the NFL Week 18 schedule as it stands right now. The hope is that nothing changes on this front, likely meaning that things have improved when it comes to Hamlin’s status.