Buffalo braced for historic snowfall | Bills-Browns expected to go ahead


Despite bracing for a lake-effect blizzard, Sunday’s game is scheduled to proceed as planned for 1pm local time (6pm UK time); complicating any potential postponement is the fact that the Bills are set to play the Lions on Thanksgiving Thursday, just four days after facing the Browns

Last Updated: 17/11/22 12:47pm

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Deonte Thompson makes a catch during the snow game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 Buffalo Bills wide receiver Deonte Thompson makes a catch during the snow game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2017

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Deonte Thompson makes a catch during the snow game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2017

Buffalo is set for historic snowfall in the Western New York region over the next four days – with up to 48 inches expected by Sunday – ahead of the Bills’ home game against the Cleveland Browns.

Despite bracing for a lake-effect blizzard, the game is currently scheduled to proceed as planned for Sunday at 1pm local time (6pm UK time).

The NFL has moved games in the past, due to winter weather. In 2010, a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles scheduled for Sunday night in late December was moved to Tuesday due to a blizzard. In early 2017, an ice storm delayed the start of a playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs by over seven hours.

Complicating the situation for the NFL and any potential postponement in Buffalo, though, is the fact that the Bills are set to play the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Thursday, just four days after their hosting of the Browns.

Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse makes a snow angel after their overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse makes a snow angel after their overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts in 2018

Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse makes a snow angel after their overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts in 2018

The Bills were involved in a snow game as recently as 2017, when hosting the Indianapolis Colts on December 10, 2017, despite a heavy snow storm dumping 16.7 inches on the field of play. The Bills ultimately won the game 13-7 in overtime.

Recalling that game, Bills head coach Sean McDermott said that after he and the team left the field after their warm-ups, when they came back out of the locker room for kick-off to see a very different scene at field level.

“I saw the amount of snow already just in that amount of time that had lapsed between going in and coming back out and I said, ‘is this normal?’

“You hear stories when you move here, but as we’re walking down and I’m getting ready for the game, someone replied saying no.”

The Bills are putting plans in place for players and staff impacted as the snow piles up this week.

“We’ve got a lot of guys from Florida, a lot of guys from down south, out west even, that have never seen snow before,” McDermott said.

“We’ve already started to put a plan in place behind the scenes of what happens if we can’t get in [for training on] Friday, what happens if we can’t get in Saturday, or to the hotel Saturday evening.”

The Bills, many people’s pre-season Super Bowl pick, dropped to 6-3 last week with a home loss to the Minnesota Vikings (8-1) in overtime. They hope to avoid three defeats in a row against the Browns (3-6).

There was a wild end to the game between Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings with the Bills defence holding up the Vikings offense on the goal-line, before gifting them a touchdown with a fumble and then somehow forcing overtime!

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There was a wild end to the game between Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings with the Bills defence holding up the Vikings offense on the goal-line, before gifting them a touchdown with a fumble and then somehow forcing overtime!

There was a wild end to the game between Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings with the Bills defence holding up the Vikings offense on the goal-line, before gifting them a touchdown with a fumble and then somehow forcing overtime!

Not helping matters, Buffalo cancelled team practice on Wednesday due to an illness-related player shortage. Due to limited player availability, the team just did positional work with those healthy and available.

Quarterback Josh Allen (elbow) and safety Jordan Poyer (elbow) were among players who participated, despite niggling injuries.

Among the ill players who didn’t participate were defensive tackles Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips, linebacker Matt Milano, safety Cam Lewis and fullback Reggie Gilliam. McDermott said Von Miller’s absence was planned as a usual Wednesday rest day.

“Sometimes you’re thrown a little bit of a curveball and you make the most of it,” he said. “And that’s what we do.”

“We’ll come back (Thursday), reset and see where we’re at.”

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