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Bills vs. Bengals game officially canceled by NFL

The Bills and Bengals will not finish their Week 17 contest

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene / USA TODAY NETWORK
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Week 17 game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will not be resumed, per multiple reports. These reports were confirmed Thursday night. The NFL is going to move forward with the game as a no contest, meaning the game won’t count in the standings.

A complex system is being put in place to determine home-field advantage in the AFC, and that’s all being broken down in a separate article. Head over there for more information on that.

The game was stopped in the first quarter when Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and needed life-saving medical interventions. His heart stopped, and several minutes of CPR was administered before his heart was shocked back into rhythm by an AED.

With players on both sidelines visibly shaken, the teams were eventually sent back to their locker rooms, and the game was eventually postponed. The league announced the next day that it wouldn’t be played this week. Behind the scenes, the NFL has been working on a plan ever since. This seems to be the next step in the plan, with more potential changes to the playoff format possible.

The Bills held a walkthrough practice Wednesday and a full practice Thursday after hearing from Hamlin’s father in a celebratory video conference call, where the team found out Hamlin was awake and neurologically intact. Buffalo hosts the New England Patriots on Sunday, and a Bills win clinches a top-two seed in the AFC.

The top story has been, and will continue to be, Hamlin’s health. The doctors who have been treating Hamlin gave an extensive update on that subject, which you can read here.