In light of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remaining in critical condition following his in-game collapse on Monday, the New England Patriots’ schedule has been altered yet again. As the team announced on Wednesday morning, media availability has been canceled for a second straight day.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was originally set to hold a press conference at noon to talk about his club’s upcoming matchup versus the Bills. He now is slated to speak with reporters on Thursday, alongside a group of team captains.
According to a Patriots spokesperson, the NFL “approved giving both the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots an extra day due to these unique circumstances.” Teams are usually required to make their head coach and a group of players available to talk to the media each Wednesday.
While the media schedule has been altered, both the Patriots and Bills did return to the practice fields on Wednesday afternoon. Buffalo is holding a walkthrough, with New England seemingly doing a regular session.
DeVante Parker is back at #Patriots practice today.— Brian Hines (@iambrianhines) January 4, 2023
Marcus Jones, Jonnu Smith, and Jake Bailey are missing. Jakobi Meyers and Jon Jones are here after leaving Sunday’s game early. pic.twitter.com/tLeNjHmdDy
Wednesday therefore presents a return to normalcy of sorts two days after Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on national television.
The 24-year-old collapsed following a routine play in the first quarter of the Monday Night Football game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. He required CPR and supplemental oxygen on the field before being transported to a nearby hospital. Hamlin remains stationed there for now, but has shown some signs of progress over the last 48 hours.
The game between Buffalo and Cincinnati was suspended following Hamlin’s collapse, and the league announced on Tuesday that it will not resume this week. The upcoming Week 18 games, meanwhile, will continue to be played as scheduled.
Including among them is the Patriots’ regular season finale in Buffalo. The game is set for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday, Jan. 8.