NFL not ruling out postponement of Week 18 Patriots-Bills game


The NFL is unprecedented territory after a frightening scene Monday night in Cincinnati.

NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said Wednesday that the Buffalo Bills' Week 18 matchup with the New England Patriots on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET is still on as scheduled, but the league hasn't ruled out the possibility of postponing the game to a later date.

Vincent said the league hasn't had a discussion about postponing Patriots-Bills, but suggested that conversation could happen if the teams don't feel comfortable playing after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the first quarter of Monday's game against the Bengals due to a cardiac arrest.

Players and coaches on both teams were visibly distraught Monday as Hamlin needed CPR to be resuscitated on the field. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in "critical condition" and was still in the intensive care unit as of Wednesday afternoon, although the Bills noted he showed "signs of improvement" Tuesday night.

The Patriots and Bills both canceled their scheduled media availabilities Tuesday and Wednesday. While both teams practiced Wednesday, it obviously would be difficult for the Bills to attempt to play a game Sunday if Hamlin is still in critical condition.

The NFL already announced that Monday's Bills-Bengals game won't be resumed this week, and that it will make a determination on when (or if) that game will resume at a later date.

All Week 18 games are currently on as scheduled, but it sounds like the league will consult with the Bills and Patriots on a daily basis, and if the players don't feel ready to play, then it's possible the game gets pushed back.

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