UPDATED: Blizzard forces Vikes into rare Tuesday game in Philly
UPDATED Are you ready for some Tuesday Night Football? The NFL moved the Minnesota Vikings games at the Eagles stadium from 7:20 p.m. today to 7 p.m. Tuesday because of a blizzard forecast to dump a foot or more of snow on Philadelphia. Winds up ...
Are you ready for some Tuesday Night Football?
The NFL moved the Minnesota Vikings games at the Eagles stadium from 7:20 p.m. today to 7 p.m. Tuesday because of a blizzard forecast to dump a foot or more of snow on Philadelphia.
Winds up to 50 mph will create a possible public safety hazard, officials said.
The game will remain on NBC on Tuesday night, according to NBC Sports' website; the first NFL game on a Tuesday in 64 years. NBC in the Red River Valley is at KVLY, channel 11.
The Vikings will remain in Philadelphia until the game, rather than travel back to the Twin Cities, team officials told reporters of the Twin Cities metro newspapers.
Of course, the delay again will heighten the drama over whether grizzled veteran quarterback Brett Favre might be ready to play by game time. A concussion in last week's Vikings' game rendered him unable to play as late as Saturday. But another two days might make it possible for him to start his putative penultimate game. This is his final season, he says.
The snow delay makes even more likely an appearance by star Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson. He was doubtful for today's game with a bruised, contused thigh.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency as of 2 p.m. EST Sunday.
"We are urging all Philadelphians, please be careful, please be safe," the mayor told reporters in a news conference at City Hall on Sunday morning.
The decision to postpone the game came shortly after noon -- before there was any snow accumulation in Philadelphia.
In announcing the postponement, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said:
"Due to public safety concerns in light of today's snow emergency in Philadelphia, tonight's Vikings-Eagles game has been postponed. Because of the uncertainty of the extent of tonight's storm and its aftermath, the game will be played on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. This will allow sufficient time to ensure that roads, parking lots and the stadium are fully cleared. The National Weather Service states that a winter storm warning in Philadelphia remains in effect until 1 pm on Monday."
Eagles coach Andy Reid agreed with the league's decision.
"We're OK with it," he said. "We're organized and prepared for this, and we completely support what the league did from a safety standpoint for everybody. We got the guys out of the hotel and home, and they'll come back for a walkthrough tomorrow and then to the hotel, and it will be just like a Saturday night before a Sunday game, just a normal Saturday night-Sunday schedule."
The Vikings already have had two home games affected by the weather this season. Their game against the Giants on Dec. 12 was postponed a day after Minneapolis got 15 inches of snow. It was then moved to Detroit when the Metrodome roof collapsed.
Their game against Chicago the following week was played at the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium because of the damaged roof.
"What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said. "But you know what, we have to remain together as a team and keep a positive mind frame. It's important to be a professional and be ready to play on Tuesday night."
Minnesota (5-9) is out of playoff contention, but the Eagles (10-4) can clinch the NFC East with a win or if the Giants lose at Green Bay on Sunday afternoon.
"We have every reason, because of the season, to say, 'This is the last straw and I'm checking out,'" Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said. "But this is the NFL and you can't do that. You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night and that's what we're trying to get the young guys and everybody to understand."
NBC will broadcast the regular "Football Night in America" from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. EST followed by a "Minute to Win It" repeat from 8:30 to 10 p.m. and then a "Law and Order" repeat until 11 p.m.
The Eagles went to their practice facility for workouts and film study and then went home. They'll now have just four days off before playing Dallas (5-10) next Sunday in a game that could determine whether they get a first-round bye.
"I don't think it's a problem," Reid said. "I think we'll be all right. We've had Monday games, Sunday night games, we had a Thursday game, so we've been through a lot of this already, and that will help us. We'll be fine."
Many players wished the game wasn't moved. They made their feelings known via Twitter.
"It's only snow!!!! Let us play... It must b alot of fun... I'm ready let's get it on!!" wide receiver DeSean Jackson wrote.
The game originally was supposed to be played at 1 p.m., but was switched because of the flex scheduling.
"Thank you flex-scheduling....," guard Todd Herremans wrote.
Quarterback Michael Vick looked at the positive side.
"Just a few more days to get ready !" he wrote.
This will be the 23rd NFL game ever played on a Tuesday. The New York Giants beat the Boston Yanks 17-0 on Oct. 1, 1946 in the last one.
There won't be any conflicts with the Flyers or 76ers because both teams are on the road. However, a Disney on Ice show Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center was canceled.