Could Patriots-Bills Be Postponed? Here’s Latest From NFL

It's currently set for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET


Jan 4, 2023

NFL officials aren’t planning to reschedule this Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills.

But they’re not ruling that out, either.

NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters that the league had not discussed postponing Patriots-Bills in the wake of Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin’s injury and hospitalization Monday night.

The situation remains fluid, however, with Vincent leaving open the possibility that the game could be moved in the coming days.

The Patriots and Bills are set to play their Week 18 matchup at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at Buffalo’s Highmark Stadium. Vincent said Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott and his players will “guide” the decision on whether that game can be played as scheduled.

“We’ll allow Sean and his team and his staff and the players, which are the most important things here, to guide us if we have to make that decision,” Vincent told reporters, via The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin.

The Patriots practiced Wednesday, and the Bills held a walkthrough. Both teams canceled their media availabilities with permission from the NFL.

NFL executive VP of communications Jeff Miller also addressed the Monday night game between the Bills and Bengals that was suspended and eventually postponed after Hamlin collapsed on the field following a first-quarter collision with Cincinnati receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field before being rushed to a local hospital, where he remained in critical but improving condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

The NFL announced Tuesday that the game would not resume this week and said no decision had been made on whether it would eventually be rescheduled. That remained an open question Wednesday, though Miller said the “conversation about what we do with that game has begun” and that the league expected to announce a resolution in the coming days.

It’s unclear how a potential Bills-Bengals cancellation would impact the AFC playoff standings. Both teams have clinched postseason berths but remain in contention for the No. 1 seed, which carries a first-round bye and home-field advantage. Cincinnati also has yet to clinch the AFC North title.

The Patriots are attempting to clinch the AFC’s third and final wild-card spot. They can do so with a win over Buffalo or losses by Miami, Pittsburgh and Tennessee.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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