NFL Won’t Resume Bills-Bengals Game After Damar Hamlin Cardiac Arrest

Hamlin collapsed during the game on Monday and has been hospitalized since

Buffalo Bills Cincinnati Bengals Monday Night Football during Damar Hamlin injury
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The NFL has formally canceled the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills that was postponed Monday after Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest early in the game and was hospitalized.

“This has been a very difficult week. 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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

In making the decision, the NFL cited the fact that the game won’t affect postseason standings, as no team would qualify or be eliminated based on the outcome of the game. In addition, re-doing the game would delay the postseason games by one week.

The NFL acknowledged that cancelling the game could have negative effects on other teams in the playoffs, and in order to prevent that, the teams will be holding a special meeting on Friday to consider recommendations by league management.

This includes holding the AFC championship game at a neutral site, “if the participating teams played an unequal number of games and both could have been the number one seed and hosted the game had all AFC clubs played a full 17-game regular season.”

Hamlin suffered his heart attack after being hit by other players early in the game on Monday. The 24-year-old received CPR on the field for several minutes before being taken to a hospital via ambulance.