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Bills juggling options; awaiting word from NFL on Jets game

Photos of One Bills Drive and Ralph Wilson Stadium following a record snow storm in Buffalo.

They know they won't be playing Sunday's game in Buffalo against the Jets, but where they're headed is up to the league, and until they get the Bills are in a holding pattern. For head coach Doug Marrone and his staff it's not all that different from what the last three days have been like as they've been stuck at the team's practice facility with no players to coach or put through practice on Wednesday or Thursday. Bills President Russ Brandon explained what they're waiting on at this point.

"We're working through a variety of logistics with the league," said Brandon. "At this point the only thing that we're able to announce was that the game would not be played in Buffalo. That really wasn't an option based on the situation."

Brandon admitted that the severe weather the team and Western New York community has experienced since Tuesday has put the team at a disadvantage in terms of preparing for the game with the Jets.

"We played a Thursday night game," Brandon said. "We had very little time in the building on Friday. The players were off on Saturday and Sunday and had a light work day on Monday. Tuesday was their normal off day and then not being able to practice on Wednesday or Thursday there certainly is a disadvantage.

"There certainly are concerns knowing 85 percent of our players live in the Southtowns and are impacted by this storm is a big way. They haven't been able to work out, practice, proper nutrition and hydration all plays a big part of the performance on Sundays. Those are concerns we all have.

"Coach and his staff, who have been at the facility, have done everything they can to prepare the players mentally through their I-pads and all the game plans and such that we can push out to our players, we've been able to communicate with them. But a big part of preparation is practice and lifting and nutrition and that's been compromised. So that's something we're looking into to properly prepare them for the Jets."

Brandon said they have a tentative plan in place to fly the team out Friday as soon as it's feasible. The aim is to practice wherever they're headed to play the game.

"It would be optimal to fly out and practice at the potential location if we can," Brandon said by teleconference from his office at One Bills Drive. "We're not in a situation where we could hold practice here at this time. The Fieldhouse and the lots and everyone who is here working we're sort of buried in here. It would be very difficult to practice here.

"We'd like to get to the airport which is in a much better situation in the Northtowns and try to get to that location if possible. But again we've got so many different scenarios in play right now that we're just trying to be nimble and work through whatever is presented to us."

Of course just getting all the players to one location to bus them to the airport will be a heavy lift knowing several are still snowbound in their homes living in and around the stadium in Orchard Park.

"Logistics are very difficult," said Brandon. "We're trying to target all our guys that are in very difficult situations. Some of our guys have been in apartment complexes where there is no plowing and it's very difficult to get out. We're trying to assess each player and the difficulty in getting to the facility and the airport. Not an easy task. Hopefully we can get out sometime (Friday). It may not be feasibly possible. It's an ever changing and evolving process."

With all that has been juggled, including the task that looms on the horizon of getting the snow removed for next week's game against Cleveland Nov. 30th, when asked for his gut feeling on whether he'll hear back from the league Thursday evening, Brandon expressed an adamant hope that it proves to be the case.

"My gut feeling is I sure (darn) hope so," he said.

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