Apparently, the Vikings Could Still Have a Playoff Bye Week


Playing Starters in
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

On Monday night, nothing became more important in the NFL world than the health of Damar Hamlin. After collapsing on the field during the Bengals/Bills game, he was intubated and rushed to the hospital where he remains in critical condition. On Thursday morning, we got some truly incredible news regarding his status. Hamlin is awake, responsive, and appears to be neurologically intact.

In the aftermath of the situation, though, the NFL finds themselves in a sticky situation with what to do with the schedule after the Bengals/Bills game went unfinished (rightly so, of course). With just one more week of the regular season, the NFL has to decide whether they are going to reschedule the game or not, and one theory floating around would give the Vikings a playoff bye week.

On Wednesday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tossed out the idea that the NFL could alternate weeks for the NFC/AFC Wild Card games, with the Bengals/Bills game being played during the NFC slate of Wild Card games.

The way that this logistically could work is by getting rid of the bye week prior to the Super Bowl following the conference championship games. It would also give the No. 1 seeds in each conference two bye weeks.

Of course, there is no perfect solution for an unprecedented situation like this, but this may be the easiest way for the NFL to get the full schedule in on time. Given the injuries that the Vikings are going through right now, an additional week off would go a long way towards ensuring they are as healthy as can be going into the playoffs.

As of now, the Vikings have a 95.5% chance of playing against the New York Giants in the Wild Card round, and after that, assuming things play out in chalk, the No. 3 seeded Vikings would make the trek to San Francisco to take on the No. 2 seeded 49ers. Minnesota would also, obviously, have to win their Wild Card round game in order to take advantage of this bye week.

For now, nothing is set in stone as to how the NFL will handle the scheduling for the rest of the season. They may opt to just cancel Bengals/Bills entirely and move on. If there are any updates to this ongoing situation, we will have you covered here at PurplePTSD.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.


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