New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Heavy snowfall this week in the Buffalo area has forced the NFL to move Sunday’s scheduled game between the Jets and Bills to Monday night in Detroit.
The Bills will host the Jets at 7 p.m. ET Monday at Ford Field.
The league said Thursday in a statement announcing the decision that public safety concerns over the ongoing weather emergency in western New York led to the rescheduling.
“As mentioned earlier today, public safety resources in western New York must be fully available to deal with the recovery from the storm,” the NFL said. “We continue our discussions with the team and the Red Cross on ways the NFL can support the community through this weather disaster.”
The league said Ford Field was available on Sunday, but the game was pushed back a day to allow the Bills as much time to practice as possible.
The Bills, who have been unable to practice this week due to the lake-effect storm that has dumped more than five feet of snow in the area, will be able to use the Lions’ practice facility starting Friday provided they can get there.
Another storm was expected dump an additional two feet of snow on the area through Friday, prompting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to say it was “impractical” to think about having the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park because it would jeopardize public safety.
“Everybody would love to see a Bills game go forward, but, I think even more, everybody wants to make sure public safety comes first,” he said.
It won’t be the first time Ford Field has been used by the NFL for a relocated game.
The Lions’ stadium hosted a 2010 game between the Giants and Vikings after the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis collapsed under the weight of snow.