The Cleveland Browns' franchise player Myles Garrett declared his side is looking for "volunteers, not hostages" after fellow pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney took to the media to complain about his role this week.

In an interview with on Thursday, Clowney stated he felt the Browns are more concerned about getting Garrett "into the Hall of Fame instead of winning games".

He referenced the roles each of the two former number one overall draft picks were being asked to play, implying Garrett is being placed into the more favourable matchups in order to boost his statistics.

Since entering the league in 2017, Garrett has been one of the top talents at one of the sport's most valuable positions.

He finished with seven sacks as a rookie before rattling off season totals of 13.5, 10, 12, 16 and another 15 this year to bring his career tally to 73.5 – already surpassing the Browns' franchise record (62) at the age of 27.

He is fourth in the league in sacks this season, while Clowney, who has never reached double-digit sacks in any of his nine seasons, has just two in 12 games this campaign.

Speaking to reporters on Friday about Clowney's comments, Garrett said he was disappointed.

"I knew he was frustrated," he said. "We've all been frustrated – we're not winning.

"I wish we could've talked about this man-to-man... I wish he would have handled it a little bit differently."

He also broke down why he believes Clowney's narrative is false, pointing out he receives the most double-team blocks (31.3 per cent of the time) in the entire league.

"If I'm the most double-teamed guy, it's hard to say I'm getting the most favourable matchups," he said. "What I've done speaks for itself. 

"Of course they're going to put me in positions to make plays. But they're also going to be positions where I'm going to get double-teamed. 

"I move all over the line. [Clowney] has moved, as well. We're both moved to be put in favourable matchups. He's getting those same looks, at least that's what I see, and I wish we could have talked about it."

Garrett said the Browns are looking for "volunteers, not hostages" when asked if he would welcome Clowney back for a third consecutive season.

"If you feel like no one believes in you here, then go where you feel like you're wanted and loved and appreciated," he said.

Clowney, who turns 30 in February, will be a free agent this offseason.

The NFL's one-season rule change could have complicating factors for the Kansas City Chiefs further down the line, but their task for Week 18 is simple: beat the Las Vegas Raiders and earn a bye to the divisional round.

With the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals – both rivals for the first seed in the AFC – to finish the year having played only 16 games, neither will be able to catch the Chiefs should they defeat the Raiders.

That will not necessarily mean an AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium, with a neutral venue potentially coming into play, but it does assure them of a week off and a favourable route through the postseason.

Fans in Buffalo and Cincinnati could reasonably be frustrated, and their hopes of the Chiefs being halted rest with an unlikely Raiders victory.

The Chiefs are 9-1 in their past 10 games against the Raiders, and their most recent nine meetings – including a high-scoring defeat in 2020 – have seen Kansas City score at least 28 points.

Only the Los Angeles Rams against the Green Bay Packers, between 1949 and 1953, have ever scored 28 or more points in 10 straight encounters.

Even in Las Vegas, there is little reason to believe that sequence will end this week, given the Chiefs' dominant road form this year.

They have scored 264 points across eight games away from Arrowhead, meaning the Chiefs will have scored the third-most road points in a season in NFL history if they hit their average of 33.0 again.

MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes loves playing the Raiders, too, having thrown more touchdowns in this matchup (26) than in any other.

In 2022, he has passed 5,000 passing yards (5,048) and 250 rushing yards (329) in a season for the second time in his career; only two other quarterbacks in NFL history have ever enjoyed one such campaign (Jameis Winston in 2019 and Justin Herbert in 2021).

Yet the Raiders improbably have their own in-form QB, with former New England Patriots backup Jarrett Stidham last week impressing in his first career start.

Stidham threw for 365 yards and three TDs against the San Francisco 49ers, joining Mike White last season as the second QB in the Super Bowl era to mark his first start with 350 passing yards and three passing TDs.

Repeating that performance against the highly motivated Chiefs is a tough ask, though.

Skylar Thompson will start for the Miami Dolphins in a must-win Week 18 game against the New York Jets that could be decided by his ability to produce explosive plays.

The Dolphins are on a five-game losing streak that has dropped them from 8-3 to 8-8 and on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

Yet Miami will qualify for the postseason if the Dolphins beat the Jets – who were eliminated with last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks – and the New England Patriots lose to the Buffalo Bills.

The task of achieving that feat has been complicated by the Dolphins' quarterback situation.

Tua Tagovailoa remains out of action having been placed in the concussion protocol following the Dolphins' Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers, and his backup Teddy Bridgewater suffered a finger injury in the defeat to the Patriots last week.

Thompson was subsequently thrown into the fire and never came close to rallying the Dolphins to a key victory, having also looked ill-equipped to lead the attack in a 40-17 loss to the Jets in Week 5, in which Bridgewater was injured on the first offensive play for Miami while filling in for Tagovailoa after he was concussed against the Cincinnati Bengals.

But the Dolphins have no choice but to look to him to thrive throwing the ball for a passing attack that has racked up 60 passing plays of 20 yards or more, a tally that trails only the Philadelphia Eagles (61) and Kansas City Chiefs (71).

The problem is that the Dolphins are facing a defense that has excelled at taking away the big play.

Indeed, the only team to allow fewer 20-yard pass plays than the Jets (36) are the New Orleans Saints (33).

With the Jets coaching staff perhaps coaching for their jobs, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel will expect his opponents, led by his former San Francisco 49ers colleague Robert Saleh, to offer another stern test.

If Thompson and the Dolphins cannot find a way to come through it and miss out on the playoffs, there will be plenty of questions about what went wrong in a season that once looked so promising.

NFL owners voted on Friday to approve a possible change to this year’s playoff format, allowing for a neutral-site AFC championship game if the participants were affected by Monday's cancelled game betweeen the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

The ruling comes a day after the proposed changes were approved by the league's competition committee.

Monday's game between the Bills and Bengals was suspended after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field and needed to be resuscitated, shocking the sporting world and leaving the NFL with questions about how to proceed.

On Thursday, the NFL said it would not finish the game and officially ruled it as a no contest, leaving the Bills and Bengals – both AFC contenders – with one fewer game played than the rest of the league.

If Cincinnati or Buffalo qualify for the AFC Championship game as the road team and could have been the home team with one more win, this new provision would move the game to a neutral site.

The rule also allows for a coin flip to decide the host of a potential Wild Card round game between the Bengals (11-4) and Baltimore Ravens (10-6) if the Ravens win the matchup between the teams in the regular-season finale on Sunday.

The new procedures are not without controversy and have already received some criticism from fans of the Kansas City Chiefs (13-3), who can secure the AFC's top seed and first-round bye with a Week 18 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. There are scenarios, however, in which the Chiefs would lose the right to host an AFC title game at Arrowhead Stadium against the Bills (12-3).

The league's policy manual says that "a team's standing in its division or in its conference” is to be decided by winning percentage in the case of a disparity in games played, but the league deemed Monday's cancellation extraordinary enough to warrant a new ruling.

It is the first time since 1935 that NFL teams will have played different numbers of games in a season, leaving no modern precedent on which the league could lean.

While the NFL has been tweaking its playoff format, Hamlin has gradually made progress during his four days at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Hamlin, whose heart was re-started twice Monday, is now able to breathe on his own and had his breathing tube removed overnight. The 24-year-old even joined his team-mates briefly on a video call Friday with a simple message: “Love you boys.”

In a Friday statement, the Bills said Hamlin's "neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team."

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is unhappy with the NFL's alterations to the playoffs, which could cost his team home-field advantage.

On Friday, NFL owners voted to approve proposed changes after the Bengals' game against the Buffalo Bills on Monday, in which Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest, was cancelled.

Those changes would include a coin toss to decide who would host a Wild Card round clash between the Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens if Cincinnati lost to their AFC North rivals in their final regular season game this week.

Meanwhile, a neutral venue will be used for the AFC Championship Game if it is contested between two teams who have played different numbers of regular season games and the lower-seeded team could have been the number one seed by playing a full 17-game season.

Taylor, who preferred the Bengals to be judged simply by their winning percentage, believes the outcome is unfair as Cincy are dealt "only negatives" by the decision.

"What's in front of us is to win this weekend and reclaim the opportunity to have a home-field Wild Card game. That's the task that's at hand in front of the team," the Bengals coach told reporters on Friday.

"As far as I'm concerned, we just want the rules to be followed and when a game is cancelled that you just turn to winning percentage to clarify everything, so we don't have to just make up the rules.

"There's several instances this season where the club is fined or people in our building are fined and we are being told to follow the rules. It's black and white in the rulebook.

"Now, when we point out the rules, you are told we are going to change that. I don't want to hear about fair and equitable when that is the case.

"What this team will do is all we can control, going into a game this weekend and doing our best to win. We are going to channel our energy into that.

"Opportunities are lost for us that we had a chance to control; now we don't. It seems like there are positives for a lot of teams and just negatives for us.

"We have the opportunity to play for a coin flip that can only negatively impact us; we don't have the opportunity to play for a coin flip that positively impacts us.

"Let's just follow the rules; we accept that. We just have to turn our focus to getting ready for Baltimore and doing everything we can to control what we can control at that point."

Damar Hamlin can breathe without assistance and is improving "remarkably" after his cardiac arrest, with the Buffalo Bills revealing he has already spoken to his team-mates.

The latest uplifting development arrived on Friday as Hamlin continues his recovery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC), where he was taken on Monday after collapsing mid-game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin joined the Bills' Friday team meeting on FaceTime and told the group: "Love you boys."

UCMC's Dr Timothy Pritts spoke on Thursday of how Hamlin had "won the game of life" by surviving, after it was revealed the safety wanted to know whether the Bills had won against the Bengals.

As it happens, that game was abandoned and will not resume, with the NFL recognising its outcome would not impact any team's qualification or elimination from the postseason.

Hamlin's future in the NFL is unclear for now, with doctors saying on Thursday it was too soon to talk about the prospect of him playing again, but the 24-year-old is making significant day-by-day progress in hospital.

The Bills said in a statement: "Per the physicians at UCMC, Damar's breathing tube was removed overnight. He continues to progress remarkably in his recovery.

"His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team.

"Damar Hamlin FaceTimed into our team meeting today to talk to players and coaches.

"What he said to the team: 'Love you boys.'"

Reports said Hamlin has also spoken individually to a number of team-mates, yet another encouraging sign.

It had been revealed on Thursday he was able to communicate by writing notes, and to be speaking and breathing without a tube a day later is another major step towards being discharged.

Hamlin collapsed after a collision with wide receiver Tee Higgins and had to be resuscitated on the field.

He received "textbook" medical attention at the stadium, Pritts' colleague Dr William A. Knight said.

The NFL has confirmed the suspended Cincinnati Bengals-Buffalo Bills' Week 17 game will not resume, with teams to consider a neutral side for the AFC Championship game.

The Bengals-Bills game was suspended after Damar Hamlin collapsed during the first quarter due to a cardiac arrest. Hamlin was resuscitated on the field, then rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he has remained in intensive care, but encouragingly has made "substantial progress" in the past 24 hours.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explained the decision had "no perfect solution", which comes ahead of the final regular season round of fixtures with significant playoff implications, and was based on three key factors.

Goodell stressed that the game's cancellation would not impact any team's qualification or elimination from the postseason, while he was eager to have the playoff scenario clarified for all sides ahead of Week 18. He added that delaying the playoffs one week to play the game was unfair on all other clubs, which guided their decision-making.

The statement revealed that NFL team owners will attend a Special League Meeting on Friday to consider a resolution recommended by the Competition Committee to have the AFC Championship game played at a neutral site if the participating teams could both have mathematically been the No.1 seed if they had played an equal number of games.

That decision affects the Bills (12-3) and Bengals (11-4) along with the Kansas City Chiefs (13-3). The NFL stated three scenarios whereby the AFC Championship game being played on a neutral site would come into effect.

- If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or tie, a Bills-Chiefs championship game will be at a neutral site.

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

- If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins, a Bills or Bengals v Chiefs championship game will be at a neutral site.

The Baltimore Ravens (10-6) may also be impacted if they win against the Bengals in Week 18, leading to a match-up in an AFC Wild Card game, with the site to be determined by coin flip.

"As we considered the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption across the league and minimise competitive inequities," Goodell said in the statement.

He added: "This has been a very difficult week. We continue to focus on the recovery of Damar Hamlin and are encouraged by the improvements in his condition as well as the tremendous outpouring of support and care for Damar and his family from across the country.

"We are also incredibly appreciative of the amazing work of the medical personnel and commend each and every one of them."

The New York Jets have conceded they may have been better served easing Zach Wilson into the starting quarterback role after a disastrous second season.

The 2021 NFL Draft second overall pick endured a tough season with the Jets, who were eliminated from playoff contention on the weekend on the back of a five-game losing run, where he was benched twice and ultimately lost the starting spot to Mike White.

This season, Wilson has started nine games with a 54.6 per cent completion rate for 1,688 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. The BYU graduate started 13 games in his rookie season in 2021.

Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said: "In hindsight, it probably would've benefited [him] just to sit back and learn a little bit and watch a veteran and just kind of grow in this league - kind of in the backseat, watching.

"Get better in practice, get better through the scout team and all that. But that wasn't the course that we went."

The Jets added veteran Joe Flacco in a midseason trade to bolster their quarterback options, while White had no NFL experience in preseason when they backed in Wilson to start.

LaFleur conceded he had not done a good job in helping Wilson develop to his full potential.

"In two years, yeah, we haven't done our job with him, right?" he said. "Any player at any position that isn't producing to the level they're capable of, as a coach, we failed them.

"There's a two-way street with it. The player has to meet us in the middle of it, but you want all these guys to play at their absolute best.

"We all know Zach hasn't played at his absolute best. He has shown spurts. He has shown the talent. Like [coach Robert] Saleh said yesterday, through hell or high water, we're going to work with him."

The Jets' struggling offense has been a big reason for their five-game losing streak which ended their postseason bid, managing only four touchdowns in the past five games.

Jalen Hurts was a limited participant at Philadelphia Eagles practice again on Thursday but there are positive signs towards him playing in Sunday's regular season finale against the New York Giants.

Hurts suffered a sprain to his right throwing shoulder in the Eagles' 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears on December 18 and missed their past two games, both losses to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints with Gardner Minshew starting at QB.

Philadelphia takes on the Giants on Sunday where victory will clinch the NFC top seed for the Eagles, but a defeat will leave them vulnerable, with the Cowboys potentially even jumping them to take out the NFC East.

Eagles quarterback Hurts has been a key part of their success this season, but has not been able to fully participate in practice since sustaining the sprain.

Philadelphia team-mate A.J. Brown revealed that Hurts took first-team reps on Thursday in a positive sign.

"We're all excited. We're all excited to see him back, doing his thing," Brown told reporters.

"He's locked in for sure. He definitely had a tempo about him today, even in the walkthrough. He was telling guys to 'come on, hurry up, get going.' Glad he's back."

Prior to the injury, Hurts was an MVP candidate with a 67.3 per cent completion rate for 3,472 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has also rushed 747 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said earlier in the week that Hurts' status is "day by day", with no rush to make a decision on his availability.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is adamant his side will be ready to take the field on Sunday against the New England Patriots in honour of Damar Hamlin's request.

The Bills returned to practice on Thursday for the first time since Monday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals was suspended mid-game after Hamlin collapsed having suffered a cardiac arrest on the field.

Hamlin had to be resuscitated on the field and has been in intensive care in hospital in a critical condition since, but the Bills provided a medical update stating he was showing "remarkable improvement" on Thursday.

Hamlin's father Mario spoke to the Bills players and insisted that he and his son want them to play on Sunday.

"He didn't tell us, he demanded us," Allen told reporters. "You can't not honour his request to go out there and charge forward to the best of our abilities.

"Obviously, we'll be playing with less heavy hearts now, knowing that today's news was a lot of tears of joy. To know that's what he wants and that's what his dad wants, I think guys are excited to get out there."

Allen said "I do" when asked if he believed the Bills' players would be ready to take to the field on Sunday as scheduled.

"For every person it's going to be a little different. Putting that helmet back on today was really good for our team to go through that progress," Allen said.

"Some people are going to be changed forever after being on that field and feeling those emotions. The updates that we keep getting on Damar are lifting our spirits. Leaning on each other. We've had some open, honest and deep talks.

"We've had some unbelievable embraces as men, just hugging somebody, you need every bit of it. The fact we keep hearing good news about Damar keeps pushing us forward."

Allen conceded it would be difficult not to let the Hamlin situation enter his mind when they enter the field on Sunday, but insisted they had to shut it out.

"It's hard not to let it creep into your mind," he said. "We've been reassured this is the freakiest of freak accidents.

"The mental aspect of it, going out on that field, if you have that thought, that's putting yourself at risk even more.

"Coach [Sean McDermott] has done a great job making sure guys understand that and that mentally you need to be bought into.

"As humans, it's hard not to feel that way, but just to know the track record of the league. Obviously, there's injuries, that's part of sport and this is the worst possible case you can think of."

Damar Hamlin "won the game of life" when he survived an on-field cardiac arrest in the Buffalo Bills' game against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to a doctor treating the safety.

Dr Timothy Pritts said Hamlin still needed assistance with his breathing, and the 24-year-old remains in intensive care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

However, he can communicate by writing and Pritts expanded on what the Bills meant when they described Hamlin as "neurologically intact".

"His first note was, 'Did we win?'," Pritts said.

"It's not only that the lights are on. We know that he's home. All the cylinders are firing right in his brain."

Hamlin collapsed after a collision with wide receiver Tee Higgins and had to be resuscitated on the field, before the game was abandoned.

He received "textbook" medical attention at the stadium, Pritts' colleague Dr William A. Knight said.

Pritts explained: "He's made substantial progress. It appears his neurological condition and function is intact. We are very proud to report that, very happy for him and his family and the Buffalo Bills organisation."

Hamlin is receiving extensive medical attention, but Pritts said: "This marks a really good turning point in his ongoing care."

Pritts added: "To paraphrase one of our partners, when he asked, 'Did we win?', the answer is, 'Yes, Damar, you won. You won the game of life.' That's probably the most important thing out of this.

"We really need to keep him at the centre of everything else that's going on. We really want to ensure a good outcome for him."

The hope is that Hamlin is able to get back to the state of health in which he began Monday's game, but there will be no discussions about returning to football for the immediate future.

Knight said: "It's entirely too early to have that conversation. Our focus is on getting him better, getting him extubated and on the road to recovery."

Pritts said Hamlin had been able to "follow commands", as it was confirmed the NFL safety could move his hands and feet.

Although Hamlin has a breathing tube and cannot speak, the positivity from his doctors pointed towards a positive outcome, although it was said he has "many steps" still ahead of him.

Earlier on Thursday, the Bills said in a statement: "Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours.

"While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.

"We are grateful for the love and support we have received."

The NFL has been in shock this week, following the terrible scenes in Monday's game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills.

Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest on the field has sent shockwaves through the sport, though it appears the 24-year-old is making progress in his recovery.

While Hamlin's health remains the league's priority over the rescheduling of that game from Week 17, there is also focus on the final round of fixtures.

There's plenty still be decided in Week 18, and Stats Perform has used Opta data to preview some of the key matchups.

SATURDAY (all times EST)

Chiefs (13-3) at Raiders (6-10) - 4:30pm

With the Bills and the Bengals having yet to finish the game that was rightly suspended on Monday, the AFC picture is not entirely clear. As things stand, a Kansas City Chiefs win in Las Vegas would mean they remain in with a chance of claiming the top seed, pending a decision on the Bengals-Bills game and the outcome of Buffalo's Week 18 clash against the New England Patriots.

The Chiefs have scored 28 or more points in nine consecutive games against the Raiders. The only longer streak of such games against a single opponent in NFL history is 10 by the Los Angeles Rams against the Green Bay Packers, and that came way back in 1949 to 1953. 

Jerick McKinnon caught two touchdowns in Kansas City's 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos and has seven touchdown catches in the Chiefs' last five games. That is the most receiving touchdowns by a running back over a span of five team games in the Super Bowl era. 

The Chiefs have scored 264 points on the road this season, averaging 33.0 points per game. If they hit their average on Saturday, they will finish with the third-most road points in a single season in NFL history, behind only the 2007 New England Patriots (314) and their own effort in 2018 (306).

Patrick Mahomes has 5,000 passing yards (5,048) and 250 rushing yards (329) in a single season for the second time in his career, also doing so in 2018.

Titans (7-9) at Jaguars (8-8) - 8:15pm

It will be winner-take-all in the AFC South when the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans face off. The victor will clinch the division and become the fourth seed in the playoffs. While Jacksonville would still be able to make the postseason via a wild card should they lose, Tennessee must win if they are to avoid elimination.

The Jaguars are looking to sweep the season series with the Titans for the first time since 2005. The only other NFL teams that have gone that long since they last swept a current divisional opponent are the Cleveland Browns, who last swept the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1988, and New York Jets, who last swept the Patriots in 2000 (the Browns also have a chance to end their drought this week).

Jacksonville could become the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs immediately following back-to-back 14-loss seasons.

Meanwhile, the Titans are looking to avoid joining the 1994 Eagles as the only teams in league history to have at least seven wins before ending the season on a seven-game game losing streak.


Giants (9-6-1) at Eagles (13-3) - 4:25pm

The Philadelphia Eagles have been the team to beat in the NFC all season, yet after successive defeats in the absence of Jalen Hurts, they now need a win to clinch the top seed.

Should they lose to the New York Giants, both the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers will have to suffer defeats in order for the Eagles to be guaranteed home advantage in the playoffs.

The omens are good for the Eagles, who have won eight straight home games against the Giants, tied for the second-longest home win streak against a single opponent in team history. It trails only their active 10-game home win streak against the Steelers that started in 1966. 

A win against the Eagles would give the Giants 10 wins after having just four last season. It would be the first time New York earned double-digit wins in a season after having four or fewer wins since doing so in 1933 (11 wins after a 4-6 record in 1932).

Lions (8-8) @ Packers (8-8) - 8.20pm

Given the NFC East will get two of the conference's three wild cards, matters are relatively simple for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. A Packers victory sends them through to the playoffs, while Detroit need to win and hope the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Seattle Seahawks.

The Packers are coming off a 41-17 win over the Vikings in which they had four takeaways and no giveaways. Green Bay are now 50-0-1 in the Super Bowl era (including playoffs) with a turnover margin of +4 or better in a game.

Green Bay's record at home against the Lions is 61-27-4, the most home wins by any team against a single opponent.

With another win, Aaron Rodgers would be the first QB in NFL history to have two seasons where his team was multiple games under .500 immediately before going on a five-or-greater game winning streak to end the regular season. 

But the Lions have scored at least 20 points while throwing no interceptions in eight straight games, tied for the longest streak in NFL history (regular season) with the 2005 Broncos, 2010 Patriots and 2018-19 Ravens.


New England will clinch a playoff spot should they defeat the Bills, who are of course recovering from that incident involving Hamlin. The Bills have won their last two games against the Patriots and are looking for three straight wins in the series for the first time since 1999-2000.

The Miami Dolphins have lost five in a row but can make the playoffs should they beat the Jets. The matchup is perfectly balanced all-time at 56 wins apiece with one tie entering this game. 

A run of five wins from six games has put the Steelers in playoff contention. They will have to beat the Browns and need results elsewhere go their way. Cleveland won against the Steelers in Week 3 this season. The Browns have not won multiple games against Pittsburgh in a season since the 1988 season.

The 49ers can still claim the top seed in the NFC by beating the Arizona Cardinals. San Francisco beat Las Vegas in Week 17, 37-34, despite trailing by 10 points in the third quarter. It was the Niners' second-largest comeback victory in the second half under Kyle Shanahan.

It has been a terrible season for the Rams (5-11), but they are 7-3 in their last 10 games against Seattle. The Seahawks got a 27-23 win in Inglewood in Week 13, the closest game between these teams since a 30-29 Seahawks win in Week 5, 2019. 

Damar Hamlin is showing "remarkable improvement" in hospital following the cardiac arrest he suffered in Monday's game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bills issued a medical update on Thursday, in which it was also confirmed 24-year-old safety Hamlin "appears to be neurologically intact".

He remains in intensive care and in a critical condition, but a second consecutive day of positive news about Hamlin's condition offered hope of a strong recovery.

Hamlin collapsed after a collision with wide receiver Tee Higgins and had to be resuscitated on the field, before the game was abandoned.

He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he has been treated since.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport wrote on Twitter that Hamlin "opened his eyes last night and is responsive" and has been "gripping the hands of those close to him".

The Bills said in a statement: "Per the physicians caring for Damar Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Damar has shown remarkable improvement over the past 24 hours.

"While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.

"We are grateful for the love and support we have received."

Aaron Rodgers remains unsure whether Sunday's game with the Detroit Lions will be his final outing at Lambeau Field as uncertainty again surrounds the legendary quarterback's Green Bay Packers future.

Four-time MVP Rodgers has struggled with injuries throughout the season and has once again flirted with the idea of calling time on his career at the end of the campaign.

The Packers head into their contest with the Lions seeking a win to secure a playoff spot, but a home game in the postseason is not possible.

That means Rodgers could run out at Lambeau Field for the final time this weekend, but the 39-year-old is not thinking too much about that scenario at this stage.

"I'm going to take some time after the season," Rodgers said on Wednesday. "I've got a lot of great memories here at Lambeau – and hopefully can add another one on Sunday.

"You don't know what the future holds. But when I think about that, it's nothing but gratitude. Not remorse or sadness, just gratitude for the time that I've been here.

"There are amazing memories that I've had on this field. There's been a lot of great moments, but I'm still undecided [about next season]. 

"We're all undecided about the future. I'm just going to enjoy Sunday night and hopefully have some more to play for."

Rodgers was the only member of the Packers' 53-man roster who did not take part in the jog-through style practice on Wednesday.

The one-time Super Bowl winner, who has been with the Packers since 2005, is hoping to overcome thumb and knee injuries.

"I just think that coming off a physical game and this point in the season, a lot of Wednesdays are like that anyways," head coach Matt LaFleur said. 

"Above-the-neck days just allow our guys a little bit more time to recover. Then we'll get back on a more normal routine [on Thursday] and handle it the best we can."

The Washington Commanders will start rookie Sam Howell for their regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys having been eliminated from postseason contention.

Commanders head coach Ron Rivera confirmed the decision on Wednesday as they re-shuffle the QB deck for one final time.

Rivera swapped Taylor Heinicke for Carson Wentz at QB for last week's 24-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, which ended the Commanders' playoffs hopes.

Wentz, in his first start after almost two months out with a fractured finger, completed 16 of 28 passes for 143 yards with three interceptions.

"I think first, initially, is obviously, it would be his first start, and it would become a little bit of a circus, having to deal with all of the things that come with being a starter, but also, you look at the opponent, and who you're playing and what they're playing for," Rivera told reporters.

"Going with Taylor would have given us an opportunity to see what they're doing, how they're doing it and would have given Sam a chance to look at it if we had gone with Taylor.

"At the end of the day, at some point, if Sam ever gets an opportunity to be a starter, this would be the chance. Why not get it over with now and go from there?

"The most important thing is that we're really intrigued in terms of watching and seeing what Sam can do as a quarterback in this league."

Wentz, 30, has two years remaining on his Washington contract, having joined via trade last offseason from the Indianapolis Colts.

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