The NFL remains to be considering numerous choices following the suspension of the Payments-Bengals sport, together with presumably eliminating the bye week earlier than the Tremendous Bowl.
The Payments-Patriots sport set for Sunday in Buffalo and the remainder of the Week 18 video games stay on schedule.
The pivotal Payments-Bengals sport was suspended Monday evening after Buffalo security Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest whereas making a deal with within the first quarter.
Hamlin’s restoration is shifting in “a optimistic route,” two days after the 24-year-old participant needed to be resuscitated on the sphere, his advertising and marketing representative mentioned Wednesday.
The league hasn’t had discussions about suspending the Payments-Patriots sport, which has playoff implications. The AFC East champion Payments (12-3) are vying for the No. 1 seed. The Patriots (8-8) would clinch a wild-card berth with a win.
“Frankly, my concern is to ensure the boys have what they should operate, and that’s getting by means of today. Tomorrow goes to deal with itself,” league executive Troy Vincent mentioned in a convention name. “So, from my communications with the membership and people gamers, it’s simply strictly been round ensuring they’re OK to verify in, and with the ability to entry these sources which might be out there to them. It’s robust. And Coach remains to be battling.”
The Payments have been scheduled to carry workforce conferences and a walkthrough follow with none media availability on Wednesday. They’re anticipated to renew follow on Thursday. The Patriots returned to follow Wednesday however pushed again their media availability to Thursday.
“It’s actually vital that we simply hold the heartbeat of the coach and the gamers, and don’t get in entrance of that,” an emotional Vincent mentioned. “And we’ll permit (Payments coach) Sean (McDermott) and his workforce and his workers and the gamers, that are an important factor right here, to information us if now we have to make that call collectively with the membership and what’s finest for Sean and his workforce and the gamers.”
NFL government Jeff Miller mentioned a choice on whether or not to renew the Payments-Bengals sport at a later date will probably be made within the coming days. The end result of the sport impacts the AFC playoff construction as a result of the Payments entered Monday evening because the No. 1 seed.
“There’s a variety of concerns in place there and lots of people that we need to seek the advice of with, together with the golf equipment concerned, earlier than that call is remaining,” Miller mentioned.
The Bengals (11-4) have a one-game lead over Baltimore within the AFC North and likewise are within the combine for the highest seed. The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (13-3) surpassed the Payments for the No. 1 seed, pending the results of Buffalo’s sport towards Cincinnati.
The NFL will lean on a few of its guiding rules from the 2020 season when COVID-19 impacted the schedule and contingencies have been in place in case each sport wasn’t performed. The league wound up taking part in all 256 video games in 17 weeks regardless of the pandemic.
The playoffs are scheduled to start Jan. 14. Pushing the beginning again one week to finish the Payments-Bengals sport is among the many choices. That may get rid of the bye week between the convention championship video games on Jan. 29 and the Tremendous Bowl on Feb. 12.
Different situations embody taking part in the Payments-Bengals sport and the NFC wild-card video games on the identical weekend and pushing the beginning of the AFC playoffs again one week. That additionally would get rid of the bye week earlier than the Tremendous Bowl.
The Professional Bowl Video games that includes numerous expertise competitions in Las Vegas are scheduled for the week earlier than the Tremendous Bowl, with a flag soccer sport between the AFC-NFC groups on Feb. 5. That week could possibly be pushed to after the Tremendous Bowl or be canceled.
Not resuming the Payments-Bengals sport can be the best possibility from a scheduling standpoint as a result of it wouldn’t require another modifications. The No. 1 seed and different playoff positions would then be decided by profitable proportion. In that case, the Chiefs would have the within monitor on securing a first-round bye and home-field benefit throughout the playoffs.
“These guiding rules that acquired us by means of or took us into the 2020 season with COVID, all of these issues will probably be issues that information us by means of this dialog and ensuring that correct fairness is in place,” Vincent mentioned. “As we noticed, probably, there could also be an absence of fairness the place it will not be good, however it would permit these which might be taking part or have earned that proper to play, to proceed to play.”
The Chiefs play the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday within the first sport of this weekend’s slate.
“We all know no matter situation now we have to go play to attempt to win the soccer sport,” mentioned Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason sport in 2012 simply 4 days after his 29-year-old son died. “That’s what now we have to do. That’s what we’re going to do. And the gamers have labored by means of follow and executed a pleasant job with it up so far.”