The Buffalo Bills could become the Pittsburgh Bills this week thanks to the record-shattering blizzard that hit the region.
This week an unusually strong lake-effect storm struck in the area just south of the city of Buffalo, burying suburban towns under up to seven feet of snow. One of the areas hardest hit was Orchard Park, where the Bills make their home. Ralph Wilson Stadium itself was buried under several feet of snow, and with a travel ban in effect for at least a few more days there is no way to clear it out.
After rumors that Sunday’s game against the New York Jets would be moved, the NFL spoke out on Thursday and declared that the game would not be played on Sunday and not in Buffalo.
“Public safety is the first priority,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday. “We have been in discussions regarding potential alternatives. We will provide an update later today.”
The Buffalo Bills are looking into nearby stadium, which include Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. It’s likely that the game would be played on Monday night, but sources say it could be pushed out as far as Tuesday.
Bills players themselves have been impacted by the Buffalo blizzard. Several who live near the stadium have been homebound, including kicker Dan Carpenter who spent his time helping elderly neighbors dig out.
The Bills coaches meanwhile have hunkered down at the stadium, where they are unable to leave due to a ban on travel.
But even traveling could be difficult for the team. Several more feet of snow is expected in certain areas near Buffalo, and both players and coaches would need to get out in time to travel to a new location and practice before Sunday’s game. The team, coming off a Thursday night game last week, has been unable to practice yet this week.
The NFL is expected to release more information about where the Buffalo Bills will play this week within a day.