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Nov 21, 2014 5:33 PM

Bills plan to return home after game in Detroit

The Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Bills President Russ Brandon says the team is planning to return to Buffalo after Monday night's game in Detroit against the New York Jets.

It remains to be seen if the weather will cooperate.

The Bills' schedule has been in flux because of a lake-effect storm that dumped more than 5 feet of snow on the Buffalo region since Monday. This weekend's game against the Jets was moved from Buffalo to Detroit and will be played Monday night. Even next weekend's home game against Cleveland could be affected.

"Our plan is to get right back to Buffalo after the game," Brandon said. "We'll have a short work week as we prepare for Cleveland, but we'll stay nimble and see how the situation evolves and we'll go from there."

The Bills arrived Friday in the Detroit area, where they were finally able to practice. Coach Doug Marrone and his staff had been living at the Bills' headquarters, going over the game plan and consulting with the team by phone and computer because players were snowed in.

On Friday night, the Bills took the field indoors at the Detroit Lions' practice facility in Allen Park. The venue is a familiar one for Buffalo defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who was fired in December after five seasons as Detroit's coach.

Schwartz was carried off the field by the Bills after they beat the Lions in Detroit in October. He'll coach at Ford Field again Monday.

Marrone said a few players had to be picked up by snowmobile before the team was able to leave western New York. The Bills are hoping conditions will be less harsh next week.

"We're preparing to play at Ralph Wilson Stadium next Sunday against the Browns, God willing that the weather holds up for everybody," Brandon said.

Buffalo (5-5) is still in the playoff hunt, and Monday's game is one the Bills are favored to win, but the weather has disrupted their preparation.

"There's never a silver lining when you're not playing a game at home," Marrone said. "It is what it is. We're not going to sit here and we're not going to make any excuses. We're going to get ourselves the best prepared we can to play a game."

Fans are being offered free tickets to Monday's game. This is the second time in four years Ford Field has hosted a neutral site game.

The last time an NFL game was moved to Detroit unexpectedly, the fans who did show up witnessed a bit of history. Brett Favre's streak of 297 regular-season starts came to an end that night on Dec. 13, 2010 when the Minnesota Vikings lost to the New York Giants 21-3. Favre was sidelined by shoulder and hand issues.

That game was moved to Detroit because the Metrodome roof collapsed.

Lions president Tom Lewand was asked Friday if Ford Field could be available for the Bills again next weekend. Detroit hosts Chicago on Thanksgiving, and there are high school championship games scheduled for the venue Friday and Saturday.

"I don't want to get into projections. Let's deal with what's in front of us right now," Lewand said. "I know the folks at the Bills' organization are working awfully hard to get themselves prepared not only to play the Jets on Monday night, but the Browns next week. It wouldn't be fair on me to comment beyond trying to get them as successful as possible for a great game on Monday night."


AP Sports Writers John Wawrow in Buffalo, New York, Dennis Waszak Jr., in Florham Park, New Jersey, and AP freelance reporter Mark Ludwiczak contributed to this report.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


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