The NFL will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and suffered cardiac arrest on the field, two people familiar with the Associated Press told The Associated Press on Thursday. decision.
Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity as the league is still working to determine playoff seedings and timing. The NFL Players Association must approve the changes.
Hamlin has shown what the doctors treating him call “remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours,” the team announced on Thursday, three days after the 24-year-old required resuscitation on the pitch.
The Bills-Bengals game had major playoff implications.
Buffalo (12-3) entered Monday night needing a win to retain the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) now occupy that spot. The Bengals (11-4) had a chance to earn that seed with two more wins and a Chiefs loss.
The league is considering different scenarios. A decision is expected no later than Friday.
Seeds could be determined by winning percentage. In that case, the Chiefs would stay in first place with a victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday.
The Bills lost a thrilling overtime game to Kansas City in the Divisional Round last year. They beat the Chiefs 24-20 at Kansas City in October to earn a decisive No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Adding an eighth playoff team to the field in both conferences and giving the top two teams a first-round bye is perhaps the most intriguing of the many possibilities.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) are among the teams that would be affected by an extra team in the playoffs. The Steelers need to beat Cleveland on Sunday and need defeats from Miami and New England to clinch a playoff berth that looked unlikely when they started the season 2-6. Adding an eighth playoff team would give Pittsburgh a bit more breathing room to reach the playoffs for the third straight year.
“It works for us,” Steelers inside linebacker Myles Jack said. “That would be nice. To get another chance to get in there, that increases our chances. I totally agree. It’s up to them. That would be pretty cool.
AP sportswriters John Wawrow and Will Graves contributed to this report.
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