According to NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent, the league has not had discussions with Bills on the matter yet. However, he did not rule out the possibility of the game being moved in light of Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin remaining in critical condition following an in-game collapse on Monday night.
The decision whether or not to play will be “guided” by Bills head coach Sean McDermott and his players, per Vincent.
“We’ll allow Sean and his team and his staff and the players, which are the most important things here, to guide us if we have to make that decision,” he said on Wednesday, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
The situation remains a fluid one, with Vincent adding that the topic was not yet brought up in his discussions with McDermott since Monday’s incident. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero also reported that there has been “no discussion of not playing the Patriots-Bills game as scheduled”.
The game between the two AFC East rivals remains scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8, at 1 p.m. ET. Both teams were allowed to cancel their media availabilities on Wednesday, but did return to the practice fields.
Hamlin, 24, collapsed in the first quarter of Monday’s game between Buffalo and the Cincinnati Bengals. He suffered cardiac arrest and had to receive CPR while on the field, and was later transported to a local hospital. The game was later suspended and will not be played this week, even though no new date has been announced.
The Bengals’ Week 18 game against Baltimore will be played as originally scheduled. As was announced on Wednesday, the two teams are moving forward with their 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.