ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Sean McDermott wasn’t part of the 2014 Bills team that had to change locations for a game because of snow. But now, eight years later, he’s experiencing what it’s like to get his guys ready to play a “home game” in Detroit as they’ll “host” the Browns at Ford Field this Sunday.
“All the people inside the Bills really came together well (Thursday) and helped to get this done,” McDermott said Friday. “In terms of the logistics going forward for us, once the decision was made by the NFL … the team was resilient as well, as always. We were able to get a little bit of a walkthrough in yesterday at the end of meetings just to try and anticipate what we see now outside of our windows here. So I think they’ve done a great job so far.”
The decision was made by the NFL on Thursday to move Sunday’s game from Highmark Stadium to Ford Field because of the snow storm hitting the area. The weather not only changed the game location but the way the Bills could prepare for this game and some things are still up in the air.
McDermott said the team is planning to fly to Detroit on Saturday to keep things as close to the normal time as possible but added it’s also a wait-and-see situation. McDermott said the safety of players and staff members as well as their families is the number one priority.
The Bills have dealt with their fair share of adversity so far this season, whether it be the back-to-back losses they’re coming off, to injuries and now this. But McDermott did say it can be used as something positive for the team moving forward.
“When you share experiences like this I think it has an opportunity, it has a chance to bring your team closer together. I think there’s a lot of good to that, you can get some good energy from things like this, some good continuity and chemistry and I think there’s some good to it when guys pull together and rally for a cause here,” McDermott explained.
The Bills canceled practice on Friday and did everything virtual instead. As of now, the game is expected to kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit against the Browns. Even though the Bills are the “home team,” they’ll use the visiting locker room as well as the visitors sideline to keep things consistent for their game on Thanksgiving against the Lions in Detroit.
Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.