FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - As expected, the NFL announced Thursday night that the Jets-Bills game won't be played Sunday in snowbound Orchard Park, New York. It has been moved to Monday at 7 p.m. at Ford Field in Detroit.
Earlier Thursday, the league ruled out Buffalo "due to public safety concerns for the ongoing weather emergency in western New York,'' per NFL spokesman Michael Signora. But it took several hours for Ford Field to be named the official replacement site.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday it would have been "impractical'' for the Bills to host the game Sunday.
The Bills were unable to practice Thursday for a second straight day because of a travel ban in and surrounding Orchard Park. More than 5½ feet of snow had fallen by Wednesday night, and 2 to 3 more feet were forecast through Thursday night.
At least one Jet would have preferred to play the game at its previously scheduled time. Although many of his teammates seemed unaffected, Calvin Pace called the uncertainty an "inconvenience'' Thursday.
"Just get it over with, man, and just move on. That's just my thinking. Hey, as long as we play this thing on Sunday, we can go somewhere else and play in the Carrier Dome [at Syracuse University] or play in Detroit like they did when the bubble fell in Minnesota,'' Pace said, referring to the Metrodome's collapse in December 2010. "We can find a solution. Just play on Sunday at 1.''
Jets coach Rex Ryan seemed far less bothered by the situation.
"It wouldn't affect us,'' he said of playing at a different venue. "We'd just aim our plane in a different direction, I guess . . . It doesn't matter where, when. We'll be ready.''
Ryan said his team had prepared a contingency plan in case the game was moved. He also joked that he'd be happy to play it at MetLife Stadium.
"Do it anywhere but Buffalo. That'd be fine by me,'' he said before adding in a serious tone: "The fans of Buffalo are awesome, so . . . if there's a possibility of getting the game played in Buffalo, I'm sure it will be played there.''
However, Bills president Russ Brandon said Thursday evening on a conference call that playing at his team's home field wasn't an option and that the Bills already had prepared to fly to the new site Friday.
Brandon also said the Bills (5-5) are "certainly at a disadvantage'' because their practice and workout schedules have been "compromised.'' Ryan said teams "ideally'' need to practice, but he again downplayed the inherent advantage the Jets (2-8) have because of the blizzard.
"Hey, if there's an advantage, I hope there is. I don't know if that's the case or not,'' Ryan said. "Not making light of it, but the way everybody has their playbooks on iPads and all that, you're able to get the information to your players. So you don't miss a whole lot that way.''
Asked if he feels for Bills coach Doug Marrone, Ryan laughed.
"I'll be honest, Doug's a good guy,'' he said, "but I haven't thought one second about his situation. I mean, that's the truth.''