covers Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., on
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. The Buffalo area found itself
buried under as much as 5 1/2 feet of snow Wednesday, with
another lake-effect storm expected to bring 2 to 3 more feet
by late Thursday.
ALLEN PARK, Mich.
— After days of cabin fever, the Buffalo Bills were finally able
Then they changed
clothes at portable lockers in a hallway — a makeshift setup
that underscored just how different this road trip is going to be.
The Bills arrived
in the Detroit area Friday and held practice that night at the
Lions' headquarters in Allen Park. The team's schedule has been in
flux because of a lake-effect storm that dumped more than 5 feet
of snow on the Buffalo region since Monday. This weekend's game
against the New York Jets was moved from Buffalo to Detroit and
will be played Monday night.
really good. Being laid up in the house for a while is not
fun," tight end Scott Chandler said. "It was good to get
to just focus on football for a few hours, and not have to worry
about anything else."
Chandler needed a
snowmobile ride to leave his neighborhood, and he said some of his
teammates did too.
guy, lives around the corner from a lot of us, and they were able
to flag him down at a gas station, and he was willing to come help
us out. They were trying to plow the road, but it wasn't going to
get done fast enough," Chandler said. "He was able to
come get us and just take us around the corner to where we could
get in a car and get to the stadium."
Marrone and his staff had been living at the Bills' headquarters,
going over the game plan and consulting with the team by phone and
computer because players were snowed in. Now the Lions are letting
the Bills in their practice facility, where Detroit had a workout
been outstanding," Marrone said. "Opening everything up,
that's really not heard of in this league, unless they force you
to do it. Detroit wasn't forced to do that, so I have a great
appreciation for the organization here. We have everything. We
have the locker room right behind us, we have the meeting rooms
and things of that nature."
snow covers around Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo
Bills, in Orchard Park, N.Y. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. A
ferocious lake-effect storm left the Buffalo area buried
under 6 feet of snow Wednesday, trapping people on highways
and in homes, and another storm expected to drop 2 to 3 feet
more was on its way.
The venue is a
familiar one for Buffalo defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who
was fired in December after five seasons as Detroit's coach.
Schwartz was carried off the field by the Bills after they beat
the Lions in Detroit in October. He'll coach at Ford Field again
Schwartz was not
available to reporters Friday.
Fans are being
offered free tickets to Monday's game, and Bills running back Fred
Jackson said he's not sure what kind of environment to expect.
"I'm kind of
excited to see what happens," he said. "It'll be a
different experience for everybody."
This is the
second time in four years Ford Field has hosted a neutral site
game. In 2010, a game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York
Giants was moved to Detroit because the Metrodome roof collapsed.
Fans who showed
up for that game witnessed a bit of history. Brett Favre's streak
of 297 regular-season starts came to an end that night.
The Bills are
hoping conditions will be less harsh back home next week, but next
weekend's home game against Cleveland also could be affected by
Russ Brandon says the team is planning to return to Buffalo after
Monday night's game in Detroit.
"Our plan is
to get right back to Buffalo after the game," Brandon said.
"We'll have a short work week as we prepare for Cleveland,
but we'll stay nimble and see how the situation evolves and we'll
go from there."
Tom Lewand was asked Friday if Ford Field could be available for
the Bills again next weekend. Detroit hosts Chicago on
Thanksgiving, and there are high school championship games
scheduled for the venue Friday and Saturday.
want to get into projections. Let's deal with what's in front of
us right now," Lewand said. "I know the folks at the
Bills' organization are working awfully hard to get themselves
prepared not only to play the Jets on Monday night, but the Browns
next week. It wouldn't be fair on me to comment beyond trying to
get them as successful as possible for a great game on Monday