By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer
The Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest will not be resumed this week and the Week 18 schedule remains unchanged, the NFL said Tuesday.
The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the pivotal Bills-Bengals game at a later date.
The 24-year-old Hamlin remained in critical condition on Tuesday after the Bills said his heart stopped after making a tackle in the opening quarter of a game against the Bengals. Medical staff restored his heartbeat during frantic moments on the field before he was loaded into an ambulance. Players from both teams were crying and praying during an emotional scene in front of a national television audience.
“Damar experienced cardiac arrest and was promptly resuscitated by on-site club physicians and independent medical personnel, all of whom are highly trained in implementing the plans for medical emergencies,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter sent to all teams that was obtained by The Associated Press. “Damar was stabilized and transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, a Level One trauma center, where he remains in the ICU.”
Goodell informed the clubs in his memo that Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti sent each team’s clinician and head of player engagement information about mental health and support resources that are available to players and staff.
“Additional resources including on-site services can be available for any club that wishes this assistance,” Goodell said.
Goodell told teams they would be advised promptly of any changes to this weekend’s schedule. The outcome of the Bills-Bengals game has major playoff implications.
Both teams are fighting for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The Bills (12-3) entered the game in the top spot while the Bengals (11-4) had a chance to clinch the AFC North with a victory and also were in the mix for the No. 1 seed along with Kansas City (13-3).
The Bengals led 7-3 in the first quarter when the game was stopped. The NFL is scheduled to begin playoffs on Jan. 14.