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Everything on the line in NFL’s Week 18, plus Damar Hamlin is making ‘substantial progress’

Everything on the line in NFL's Week 18, plus Damar Hamlin is making 'substantial progress'


Good morning to everyone but especially to…

DAMAR HAMLIN

Damar Hamlin wrote a simple question to his doctors: Did the Bills win against the Bengals?

The doctors’ answer? “Yes, Damar. You’ve won. You’ve won the game of life.”

It couldn’t have been a more perfect response to what Hamlin’s doctors are calling a “remarkable” recovery after he suffered cardiac arrest on Monday night.

  • Hamlin remains in the ICU and is “critically ill” but is awake, moving his hands and legs, and communicating with medical personnel.
  • On a conference call, Dr. Timothy Pritts of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center added, “it appears that his neurologic function is intact.”
  • Per the update Thursday, Hamlin is unable to speak as he is still relying on a breathing tube.

It’s the most inspiring development in what’s been a difficult but moving last few days. Hamlin’s toy drive fundraiser — with an original goal of $2,500 — was approaching $8 million as of Thursday night, with donations coming in from all over the NFL. There’s also been significant support for Tee Higgins, the Bengals wide receiver Hamlin tackled before collapsing.

The Bills addressed the media for the first time since the incident on Thurday afternoon, with Josh Allen saying the team will “play for” Hamlin against the Patriots in Week 18.

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What the Bills-Bengals game not being resumed means 🏈


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It’s official: Bills-Bengals has been canceled, the NFL announced last night. Now, owners will vote on possibly implementing two new rules for the AFC playoffs.

The first proposal features a neutral-site AFC Championship Game.

  • Scenario 1: If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or both tie in Week 18, then a Buffalo vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
  • Scenario 2: If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose in Week 18 and Baltimore wins or ties with Cincinnati, then a Buffalo vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
  • Scenario 3: If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati beats Baltimore, then a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.

The second proposal includes another potential playoff game moving. If the Ravens beat the Bengals on Sunday, Baltimore will finish 11-6…

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