The NFL said Thursday it will not resume the Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field.
The league said some of the factors in coming to its decision included that "not playing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game to its conclusion will have no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason. No club would qualify for the postseason and no club will be eliminated based on the outcome of this game."
Also, the NFL said playing the game between the Bills and Bengals would have required postponing the start of the playoffs by a week, and affecting all 14 teams that qualified for the postseason.
The NFL said its decision creates "potential competitive inequities in certain playoff scenarios." The league said clubs on Friday, in a special league meeting, would consider a resolution recommended by the commissioner and approved by the Competition Committee.
Hamlin has shown what physicians treating him are calling "remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours," the team announced Thursday, three days after the 24-year-old player had to be resuscitated on the field.
The Bills-Bengals game had major playoff implications for the AFC. Determining next steps is an exhaustive process and the league is considering various scenarios.
Buffalo (12-3) entered Monday night needing a win to maintain the AFC's No. 1 seed. The Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) currently hold that spot. The Bengals (11-4) had a chance to earn that top seed with two more wins and a loss by the Chiefs.