Following the postponement of the Bengals-Bills game after the incident with safety Damar Hamlin, which received national attention with an outpouring of support from all teams around the league, Cincinnati has to welcome Baltimore for a Week 18 matchup that may decide the division.
Getting back into the rhythm of things following what the Bengals witnessed is not easy, and it certainly shouldn’t be. Star quarterback Joe Burrow commented on how he feels entering the upcoming game against a division rival, saying it will be “tough” to get back onto the field.
Burrow: “Personally, I think playing is going to be tough.” Said he wants to play but knows there are mixed feelings in the locker room.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 4, 2023
The Bengals are 11-4, and the Ravens are 10-6. What the NFL does with their Week 17 matchup, while it pales in comparison to the situation with Hamlin still in the hospital and in critical condition, could ultimately make this game meaningless for the sake of the division.
For Cincinnati, there could be a chance it isn’t played at all, at least if it were up to some players they may not be taking the field Sunday. And, after having seen and having had a few days to cope with what happened Monday, there’s really no blaming them.
QB Joe Burrow said there were side discussions among players about not playing on Sunday vs. Baltimore but notes that there is still a game to play.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 4, 2023
Another aspect of what happened Monday that might need some more attention down the road is the character that showed from Zac Taylor.
Cincinnati fans should be proud of what Taylor did, not wanting to restart the game and ensuring both Bills’ coach Sean McDermott and his players were able to get back to the locker room without any pressure of continuing the game.
Cincinnati should be proud, as was Burrow.
Joe Burrow says he’s proud to be playing for a coach like Zac Taylor especially after seeing how he responded on MNF.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) January 4, 2023
While Monday was clearly a difficult night for thousands, especially the players, how the coaches handled the situation should get some praise, and Taylor made the right calls when he needed to.