Report: NFL Leaning Towards Simplest Decision for Bills-Bengals
The NFL is still scheduled to play week 18 this weekend, which will feature both Saturday and Sunday games.
However, there is still a great deal of concern and thoughts going toward Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football after a tackle.
Hamlin was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remains in in the ICU, listed in critical condition. He has made progress, which is promising, according to a Bills statement on Wednesday.
The game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals was not resumed and will not be played this week.
What to do about the NFL schedule is what the league has been trying to figure out for the past 48 hours. There seem to be a few scenarios to consider, but none of them are perfect. It seems as if some sort of competitive advantage and disadvantage will happen.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there seem to be two options the league has on the table.
The first one is a very interesting idea. It would play the week 18 games as scheduled, then play only the NFC Wild Card games the following week, along with the Bills and Bengals.
The next week would only be the AFC Wild Card games. After that, we continue as normal in the divisional round and eliminate one of the two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
The other option is to simply cancel the game and live with the standings consequences; going based on winning percentage.
Florio reports that plan is where the signs are pointing on a league decision.
This would be the easiest solution, although it would be unfair to the Bills, Bengals and Baltimore Ravens.
The Bengals would not have a chance to get the one seed in the AFC, while not playing the game would not give the Ravens the chance to win the AFC North.
The Bills would benefit the least, as they did control their own playoff destiny going into the game against the Bengals on Monday. In this scenario, the Chiefs would be the one seed if they beat the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, while the Bills would only be playing for the two vs. three seed on Sunday against the New England Patriots.
This all pales in comparison to the health and well-being in Damar Hamlin, but it appears the league will move on to business.
Would the Bills decide to simply rest starters on Sunday, if the Chiefs win on Saturday and the one seed is not possible anymore? Maybe. That may be a disadvantage for the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, who need the Patriots to lose to have a chance at the postseason.
The Bills and Bengals have been in discussion with the league on a decision, according to NFL exec Jeff Miller on Wednesday, so we will have to wait and see when a decision becomes official.