With a torrential snowstorm headed towards western New York, the NFL has opted to move the Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills game to Detroit’s Ford Field, the league announced Thursday. The game will still be played at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Browns-Bills Week 11 Game Moved to Detroit
The latest weather reports indicate 2-4 feet of snow could hit the Buffalo area this weekend. Although the snowfall likely would have stopped before Sunday’s kickoff, the NFL opted not to take any chances.
Clearing the snow out of Highmark Stadium in Buffalo could have presented an issue, and the inclement weather would have also caused travel challenges for fans.
Now, the Bills will play two consecutive games at Ford Field. Buffalo was already previously scheduled to face the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, so Sean McDermott’s club will spend the next week in the Detroit area.
That tight turnaround also prevented the NFL from moving this game to Monday or Tuesday. There’s no way the Bills would have been ready to play on Thursday after suiting up just two or three days earlier.
Plus, both the Browns and the Bills have already had their bye weeks. Thus, there was no option to reconfigure the league schedule and re-insert this game into a different week.
Josh Allen and the Bills will lose their home-field advantage, and they’ll now embark on three consecutive road games. After playing the Browns and Lions in Detroit, Buffalo will move on to New England in Week 13.
The NFL has had to move a Buffalo game in the recent past. In 2014, the league shifted a Bills-Jets game to Detroit due to a snow emergency. In that case, both teams’ schedules gave the NFL the leeway to move the game to Monday.
NFL snow games are always fun, but this snowstorm has the potential to be severe. In a statement, the league noted it’s making this venue change “due to public safety concerns and out of an abundance of caution.”