Bills’ McDermott keeps things light amid heavy snow fall

Nov 17, 2022, 8:56 PM | Updated: Nov 18, 2022, 10:57 am
Zaria Black, 24, from Buffalo, clears off her car as snow falls Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Buffalo, ...

Zaria Black, 24, from Buffalo, clears off her car as snow falls Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. A dangerous lake-effect snowstorm paralyzed parts of western and northern New York, with nearly 2 feet of snow already on the ground in some places and possibly much more on the way. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Bills coach Sean McDermott did his best to keep things light amid the heavy snow falling outside his window, and the disruption to Buffalo’s schedule — most notably forcing the team to play its “home” game against Cleveland at Detroit on Sunday.

“Yeah, I want to get out there once we can get through this,” McDermott said Friday during a Zoom call from his home, noting he might have shovel duty later in the day. “I think the family is upstairs on calls with my folks checking in on us, so, yeah, that’s all part of the human part of this.”

Aside from McDermott conducting a virtual meeting with his players, though not all because some had lost power, football was mostly placed on hold. With more than a foot of snow on the ground already in some places, making travel treacherous if not impossible, the Bills canceled what was essentially their final practice of the week.

On Saturday, they’ll have to dig themselves out to gather at the airport for a 45-minute flight to Detroit. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility that some might have to make part of the trip by snowmobile, as happened in November 2014, when a similar storm led to the NFL shifting Buffalo’s home game against the New York Jets to Detroit’s Ford Field.

“That’s obviously TBD at this point. We want to head out tomorrow as close to the normal time as possible,” McDermott said. “However, seeing what’s happening around us right now, just want to make sure that all the staff and players’ families are safe and dug out before we try to get out of here.”

The storm, projected to dump between 2 and 4 feet of snow on the region, is supposed to ease by Saturday in Buffalo’s Southtowns, where the Bills are based.

How game-ready the Bills — at 6-3 and coming off two consecutive losses — might be is another question.

Aside from the snow putting a dent in Buffalo’s practice schedule, the team is also dealing with a rash of injuries and illnesses. On Wednesday, the Bills didn’t have enough healthy bodies to hold a full practice and instead conducted a walkthrough session.

McDermott on Friday ruled out starting linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (groin), starting defensive end Greg Rousseau (ankle) and cornerback Tre’Davious White, who is active but yet to play since tearing a ligament in his left knee nearly a year ago.

On the bright side, McDermott said most of the six players who came down with non-COVID-19-related illnesses are “trending in the right direction.”

Perhaps, the coach said, the challenges presented by the injuries and snow could turn into a bonding experience.

“I think it has a chance to bring your team closer together,” he said. “I think there’s some good to it when guys pull together and rally for a cause here.”

Several players went on social media to share their experiences.

Veteran pass-rusher Von Miller posted a video of his vehicle nearly completely covered in snow. Second-year safety Damar Hamlin posted a video of him stepping out his front door and plunging his feet in snow up to his knee.

The Bills even got into the act by posting several pictures of the inside of their stadium blanketed in white, with only the yellow goal posts exposed.

For some players who grew up in warmer climates and are new to Buffalo, the storm represents their first real experience with snow.

For others, this is nothing new.

Veteran safety Jordan Poyer is among the few remaining Bills who played in near white-out conditions in December 2017, when a major storm hit Buffalo an hour before kickoff of their 13-7 overtime win over Indianapolis.

The snow fell so hard at times that the Colts burned a timeout to dig a hole for the ball to be placed for Adam Vinatieri to hit a tying point-after after he missed two field-goal attempts. And the Bills celebrated running back LeSean McCoy’s winning 21-yard touchdown run by making snow angels on the field.

“Yeah, I thought I was crazy for coming to Buffalo, New York, to play in that stuff,” Poyer said. “But now that I look back on it, it probably was one of the most fun games I played in.”

The Bills will be making their first of two trips to Detroit in less than a week. They’ll be the home team on Sunday, and then the visitors for a game against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

For familiarity’s sake, the Bills chose to use the visitor’s locker room, sideline and coaching booths on Sunday.

“Just the comfort level from one week to the next,” McDermott said. “But we’re just focused on this week right now.”

NOTES: Linebacker A.J. Klein, whom the Bills claimed off waivers on Wednesday, has a chance of being active despite having little time to practice, McDermott said. The 10-year veteran was cut by Chicago and returns to Buffalo where he spent the previous two seasons. … Buffalo opened a roster spot to sign Klein by placing WR Jake Kumerow (ankle) on injured reserve.


AP NFL: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Brazilian Pele attends the 2018 soccer World Cup draw at the Kremlin in Moscow, Dec. 1, 2017...
Associated Press

Hospitalized Pelé thanks fans during fight against cancer

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian soccer great Pelé thanked fans worldwide on Thursday for the well-wishes he’s received since being admitted to a Sao Paulo hospital amid his fight against cancer. The 82-year-old Pelé, who had a colon tumor removed in September 2021, was hospitalized Tuesday to regulate his medication, his daughter said. Messages of […]
17 hours ago
Germany's Leroy Sane reacts at the end of the World Cup group E soccer match between Costa Rica and...
Associated Press

Germany’s soul-searching begins after another World Cup flop

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Another World Cup, another flop. Former soccer power Germany is facing another round of soul-searching after going out of the sport’s most important tournament at the first stage for the second time in a row. Germany’s players spoke afterward of good performances and missed chances — as they’ve done before. […]
17 hours ago
Japan's head coach Hajime Moriyasu whistles during the World Cup group E soccer match between Japan...
Associated Press

World Cup redemption for Japan coach 29 years later in Qatar

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — The “Agony of Doha” came 29 years ago, and Hajime Moriyasu experienced it first-hand as a midfielder on Japan’s national soccer team. He’s now the coach, and he’s made amends. Japan won its World Cup group on Thursday after beating 2010 champion Spain 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium. Last […]
17 hours ago
Sepp Straka, of Austria, tosses a ball to his caddie during the first round of the Hero World Chall...
Associated Press

Tiger replacement Sepp Straka shares lead in the Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Sepp Straka was home in Alabama preparing for a big week of golf matches at his club, a friend’s wedding and the SEC Championship game. And then Tiger Woods couldn’t play in the Bahamas because of a foot injury, and Straka had a change in plans. It worked out OK for […]
17 hours ago
FILE - NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano speaks during the NASCAR Championship media day, Thursd...
Associated Press

Logano celebates 2nd NASCAR Cup title already wanting 3rd

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Joey Logano has a simple target for the future even as he celebrates his 2022 NASCAR Cup championship. Add yet another. Logano this season joined Kyle Busch as the only active NASCAR drivers with multiple Cup series titles, adding to the first Cup championship he won in 2018. Being the only […]
17 hours ago
Japan's Ritsu Doan celebrates scoring his side's first goal during a World Cup group E soccer match...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: World Cup highlights from Day 12

Highlights from the 12th day of the World Cup in Qatar on Thursday. ___ AP World Cup coverage: and Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
2 days ago
Bills’ McDermott keeps things light amid heavy snow fall