The NFL reportedly has three specific paths forward to resolve the postponed game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals from Week 17.
One of the biggest stories this week in the NFL and nationally was the scary events that occurred during the pivotal “Monday Night Football” game between the Bills and Bengals on Monday. In the first quarter of the clash of Super Bowl contenders, Buffalo defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed after taking a hard hit to his chest while making a tackle.
The 24-year-old had to be revived on the field, and then at the hospital following the play. The 2021 sixth-round pick remains in critical condition on Wednesday but is showing signs of improvement. The shocking event brought a stop to the game and eventually led to it being postponed without a clear path ahead.
The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals are two of the top teams in the AFC, and a win or loss would be very important in playoff seeding after the season comes to a close this Sunday. That is why the NFL is trying to figure out how to resolve that issue while also showing respect to players following a horrifying moment on Monday.
Pushing playoffs back and having Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals in Week 19 possible
On Wednesday, NFL Network league insider Ian Rapoport spoke about what the NFL might do to bring a resolution to a difficult situation, and it seems there are three options they are likely to decide on very soon.
“What they could do is basically nothing. They would declare the game a no-contest or declare it a tie. There is commissioner’s discretion there, and then the standings would be as they are. Based on winning percentage, that would determine who gets bye’s, who wins divisions, all of the other factors.
“They could also slide the playoffs back a week [and] create a Week 19. This was something that was discussed during the COVID situations from a couple of years ago. Have a stand alone, one game weekend, [and] play Bills-Bengals in Week 19. Eliminate the bye week between the Super Bowl and the [conference] title games and move on from there. Those are basically the options going forward.”– Ian Rapoport
The Buffalo Bills have an outside chance of getting a first-round bye in the AFC Playoffs with two wins and a Kansas City Chiefs loss this week. The Cincinnati Bengals are only a game and a half up on the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. A loss to the Ravens in Week 18 would open the door to losing the division if they were to fall to the Bills in a possible Week 19 matchup.