Because the game has been canceled, both teams will finish the 2022 regular season with one fewer game played than every other team in the league.
The Bills had already clinched their division and both teams had secured a playoff spot prior to Monday night. However, the cancellation of the Bills vs Bengals game is not without playoff implications because those teams will have played an uneven number of games in comparison to the other teams. As a result, and in an attempt to make things fairer, the NFL will consider moving the location of the AFC championship game to a neutral site if either the Bills or Bengals advance to that round.
The NFL is to begin the playoffs on the weekend of Jan. 14 as scheduled with Super Bowl 57 on Feb. 12, also as planned.
“This has been a very difficult week,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement announcing the decision. “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.”
“As we considered the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption across the league and minimize competitive inequities,” Goodell said. “I recognize that there is no perfect solution. The proposal we are asking the ownership to consider, however, addresses the most significant potential equitable issues created by the difficult, but necessary, decision not to play the game under these extraordinary circumstances.”
For more details on how the Bills-Bengals cancellation impacts the AFC Playoffs, access USA Today’s NFL won’t resume Bills-Bengals Week 17 game postponed after Damar Hamlin’s collapse