NFL owners have approved a resolution that could lead to a neutral site for the AFC championship game in response to the cancellation of Monday night’s Bills-Bengals game after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field.

NFL teams held a special meeting Friday to consider the recommendation of Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s competition committee.

Hamlin is breathing on his own and able to talk after having his breathing tube removed, his agent said Friday. It’s the latest step in his recovery in the four days since going into cardiac arrest during the game at Cincinnati. Hamlin even joined the Bills’ team meeting via videoconference.

The Bills-Bengals game had major playoff implications. Buffalo (12-3) entered Monday night needing a win to maintain the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) now hold that spot. The Bengals (11-4) had a chance to earn the top seed with two more wins and a loss by the Chiefs.

The AFC championship game will be played at a neutral site if the participating teams played an unequal number of games and both could have been the No. 1 seed and hosted the game had all AFC clubs played a full 17-game regular season.

The league is considering several sites, including indoor and outdoor stadiums.


Those circumstances involve Buffalo or Cincinnati qualifying for as a road team. If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or tie this weekend, a Bills-Chiefs AFC title game would be at a neutral site.

If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Baltimore wins or ties, a Bills-Chiefs AFC title game would be at a neutral site.

If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins, the Bills or Bengals against Kansas City in the AFC title game would also be at a neutral site.

Also, if Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in Week 18, the Ravens would have two wins over the Bengals, a divisional opponent, but will not be able to host a playoff game because Cincinnati will have a higher winning percentage for a 16-game schedule than Baltimore will for a 17-game schedule.

Therefore, if Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are schedule to play a wild-card game against each another, the site for that game would be determined by a coin toss.

However, if the Bengals win this weekend or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play each other in the wild-card round, the game sites would be determined by regular scheduling procedures.


BROWNS: One day after he criticized the team and coaching staff, Jadeveon Clowney was sent home before practice, ending the defensive end’s second season in Cleveland.

Coach Kevin Stefanski refused to directly address Clowney’s status for Sunday when the Browns (7-9) visit the Pittsburgh Steelers while looking to sweep both games from their rival for the first time since 1988. However, Stefanski indicated Clowney won’t be joining the team on the trip.

Clowney, in his second season with the Browns, said in an interview Thursday with that he didn’t feel appreciated and was “95% sure” he wasn’t coming back for a third season. Clowney also said the Browns are giving Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett preferential treatment and were focused only on getting him to the Hall of Fame. Clowney said he had no issues with Garrett, who has 15 sacks going into the finale.

Clowney said the Browns’ coaches put him in difficult matchups to make things easier for Garrett. In 2021, he teamed with Garrett to give the Browns one of the NFL’s most feared pass rushes.

DOLPHINS: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will miss his second straight game because of a concussion and rookie Skylar Thompson is expected to start Sunday against the New York Jets, Coach Mike McDaniel said.

The Dolphins also are hoping that Teddy Bridgewater, who dislocated the pinky finger in his throwing hand, can back up Thompson on Sunday.


JETS: Joe Flacco will start Sunday against Miami with Mike White out after aggravating his rib injury. Zach Wilson will serve as Flacco’s backup.

White returned last Sunday after missing two games with broken ribs, but was mostly ineffective in New York’s 23-6 loss at Seattle. He finished 23 of 46 with no touchdowns and two interceptions, clearly still affected by his ribs.

EAGLES: Quarterback Jalen Hurts is “trending in the right direction” toward starting Sunday against the Giants after he missed the last two games with a sprained right shoulder.

Coach Nick Sirianni declined to commit to Hurts as the starter as the Eagles (13-3) try and clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win over New York. Hurts had limited participation in practice this week for the first time since he was injured.

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