The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals were unable to finish their game on Monday night after defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. It is unclear how the NFL will proceed, but several options are said to be under consideration.
The NFL’s executives are considering several scenarios for the Bills-Bengals game
The NFL is now in a difficult situation. The league was chastised by fans and the media for how it handled the postponement, but a decision had to be made one way or the other. There are a few options, one of which is to push back the entire season by one week.
The NFL could move the Bills-Bengals game to this weekend and move the rest of the NFL schedule back a week, except for the Super Bowl. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL postponed its entire season by one week following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The traditional bye week between conference championship games and the Super Bowl was eliminated in 2001.
The NFL has the option of canceling the entire Bills-Bengals game. The winning percentage could then be used to determine playoff seeding, with Buffalo and Cincinnati playing one fewer game than the remaining 30 teams. Florio claims that the NFL was prepared to take that approach in 2020, when games could be canceled due to the pandemic.
Before making a decision, league officials will almost certainly consult with the NFLPA, the Bills, and the Bengals.