Something of an unprecedented situation has developed this week in the Buffalo region, wherein a mid-November blizzard has already dumped several feet of snow in the area, with another two or more expected by week's end. The Buffalo Bills have a home game against the New York Jets on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET, and held a conference call with reporters on Wednesday regarding the status of that game.
Here's what we know right now.
The Bills are still planning for the 1PM kickoff on Sunday, because they have to; it's not their call to postpone the game or move it to a different venue, it's the NFL's. There has already been some speculation that the game could be played in a different stadium, or perhaps on Monday night, but the Bills deferred questions on the matter to the league.
In fact, the Bills are so stretched thin trying to prepare Ralph Wilson Stadium for Sunday that they're currently recruiting snow-shovelers to work around the clock later this week. An estimated 220,000 tons of snow will need to be removed, and the Bills are looking for a group of 500 shovelers to work 24 hours per day until the place is cleared and ready to roll. They're offering $10 per hour and tickets to the Bills/Jets game as compensation. Seriously: call 716-636-4840 if you're interested. (Just, you know, make sure your own situation is handled first.)
If you're planning on going to the game, you should probably expect some traffic and parking issues, as the snow movement/removal process is expected to take up several spots in the surrounding stadium lots. Plan accordingly - if, of course, the game stays on track as scheduled.
Bills players have been instructed to abide by a travel ban that remains in effect, so the team won't be practicing on Wednesday (and might struggle to do so at all this week). Instead, according to head coach Doug Marrone, the team is working on distributing Jets film and game plans electronically to players. Marrone stressed player safety over the need to practice, while noting that the Bills' coaching staff is at team headquarters. In fact, they plan on staying overnight there through the storm.
Marrone, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson were among the people stranded on I-90 on Tuesday during the earlier stages of the storm. The head coach helped stranded motorists as best he could, and eventually made it to the stadium on Tuesday evening.
Even though players are not at team headquarters today, the team must still send out a practice report for the afternoon on the injury front. Marrone told reporters that there will be a projected report later on this afternoon, while noting that the only player who for sure would not have practiced was reserve defensive end Jarius Wynn (knee).
Stay tuned. We're only halfway through this crazy week of storms, for all intents and purposes, and things for Sunday seem very much up in the air.