The postponed Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game will not be made up following the terrifying collapse of safety Damar Hamlin, the league said Thursday.
With one game left in the regular season, the NFL is still working out the details of how the now-canceled game will affect playoff seeding.
The NFL acknowledged that canceling the game “creates potential competitive inequities in certain playoff scenarios,” and said NFL clubs will consider a resolution at a special league meeting Friday.
Part of it could involve the AFC Championship Game being played at a neutral site.
Because of the one canceled game, the Bills and Bengals will have played 16 games, while all other NFL teams will have played 17.
The Bills had long ago clinched the AFC East and were in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the conference. Now at 12-3, Buffalo trails 13-3 Kansas City for the AFC’s top spot, which carries a first-round playoff bye.
Had the Bills won Monday night, they would have had as many wins as the Chiefs while holding a tiebreaker over Kansas City.
The key contest between first-place teams was called off shortly after 10 p.m. ET Monday, with the NFL saying the game had been “postponed” — leaving the door slightly ajar for Buffalo and Cincinnati to restart play at another time.
When Hamlin went down, the Bengals were leading, 7-3, in the first quarter.
Hamlin collapsed moments after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins. The play appeared to be routine as Hamlin quickly got up and briefly grabbed or adjusted his own face mask before falling backward.
Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, but his brain function appeared to be in good condition, the Buffalo Bills said Thursday, following days of uncertainty and worry.
“Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the team tweeted. “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact.”
In their final regular season games, the Bills will host the New England Patriots and the Bengals are home to the Baltimore Ravens. Both games are at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.