(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The NFL has made an official statement on the Week 17 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals that was paused and later called after Bills’ Safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field.
The NFL released a statement saying that the game between the two teams will not be resumed and has been canceled.
This announcement came after Commissioner Rodger Goodell spoke with both teams, as well as the NFL Players Association leadership.
“We continue to focus on the recovery of Damar Hamlin and are encouraged by the improvements in his condition as well as the tremendous outpouring of support and care for Damar and his family from across the country. We are also incredibly appreciative of the amazing work of the medical personnel and commend each and every one of them,” Goodell said in the press release.
In the same press release, the NFL listed the following reasons as key factors in not resuming the game:
- Not playing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game to its conclusion will have no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason. No club would qualify for the postseason and no club will be eliminated based on the outcome of this game.
- It would require postponing the start of the playoffs for one week, thereby affecting all 14 clubs that qualify for postseason play.
- Making the decision prior to Week 18 is consistent with our competitive principles and enables all clubs to know the playoff possibilities prior to playing the final weekend of regular season games.
The league also noted that this decision could effect competitive issues given that both teams will be playing one less regular season game. Those issues will be addressed in a Special League Meeting held tomorrow that will feature a recommendation from Goodell and will need to be approved by the league’s competition committee.
Hamlin was reported to beginning to awaken and show “significant improvement” in his condition today. While still in critical condition, Hamlin was communicating via writing and responded to questions.