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As Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in the hospital in critical condition, the team announced that they are beginning preparation for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
Normally, on Wednesdays during the NFL season, teams will practice and then players will speak to the media. However, the Bills will only hold meetings and a walk-through and players are not available to speak, according to the team’s official PR account.
It’s notable that the team is getting back on the field in any capacity and also notable that they are not holding a full practice.
Also notable is the fact that the NFL granted Buffalo’s opponent, New England, some special privileges due to “unique circumstances.”
And while it’s not surprising that the team isn’t making players available to the media given the extenuating circumstances, it is slightly surprising that offensive lineman Dion Dawkins spoke to both ESPN and CNN on Tuesday night.
It is unknown if ESPN and CNN went through the team’s PR staff to approve the appearances or if Dawkins decided on his own that he needed to speak.
Bills game vs. Patriots has massive implications
It feels insensitive to talk about a football game while a young man fights for his life in a hospital bed, but that’s the harsh reality of the NFL and professional sports, in general. That’s why Bills players are back to work today.
Like it or not, billions of dollars are at stake and rely on these games being played. And, Buffalo’s game on Sunday has massive ramifications across the league. The Patriots need to defeat the Bills to clinch a postseason berth.
For Buffalo, a win against New England keeps them in contention for the #1 seed in the AFC. In fact, a Buffalo victory makes the postponed game vs. the Bengals even more important.
If the Chiefs lose to the Raiders or the Bills defeat the Patriots, it will be difficult for the league to not resume the game against Cincinnati.
Similarly, if Cincinnati loses on Sunday to Baltimore, then the Ravens could win the AFC North if the Bengals then lost to the Bills.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ