They had to drive, snowmobile or walk to the team facility to get on a bus and fly to Detroit. They didn't begin practicing until Friday night. They had to study the game plan on their I-pads without their coaches. And tonight they lose home field advantage when they "host" the Jets at Ford Field. The Bills have not been dealt a good hand, but the players have used their misfortune as a rallying point and intend to win anyway.
Photos from the Bills first practice at the Lions team facility in Allen Park, Michigan.
"We expect to go out and win a football game, no doubt about it," said Kyle Orton. "We're in the situation that we're in and there's nothing we can do about it except enjoy being together, enjoy practicing and go out there and play with a lot of energy and a lot of competitiveness and go get a great win."
"It's not something that you deal with every year, but it's part of what happened," said Scott Chandler. "We want to see how we can respond to this and it's a little adversity, but it can either bring us together or we can use it as an excuse. We want it to bring us together."
Having to uproot your entire football operation in the middle of the week and go plan and practice in another NFL city is uncommon. It hasn't happened in almost four seasons. Their preparation time has been reduced, but they're not going to accept being short changed as an excuse.
"Prepare like any other time," said Mario Williams flatly. "I don't look at having more time is this truly going to be an advantage. Does having less time mean it's a disadvantage. It's all about who has the attitude on Sunday or Monday in this situation."
"We're all here together and we're all faced with the same challenges and adversity so it makes it common," said head coach Doug Marrone. "We have a common challenge and I think anytime that happens you can rally around that. We understand what's going on and I told them what I felt was the truth and we've got to man up and go after it."
Co-captain Fred Jackson was encouraged by the approach taken by his teammates over the weekend and with their film study in their homes earlier in the week. He knows in the NFL there are no pity parties.
"Knowing we have a short week or a short window to prepare for this game I think guys are taking that to heart. New York is not going to feel sorry for us," he said. "They're coming to win the game, so we have to be focused and be ready to come out and play well."