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Vikings, Eagles Doing Best to Deal With Sunday Night Postponement

Dec 26, 2010 – 4:10 PM
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Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano %BloggerTitle%

Snow in Philadelphia postponed Sunday night's Vikings-Eagles game until Tuesday night.PHILADELPHIA -- Talk about your "flex scheduling." The Eagles' Week 16 game against the Vikings, which was originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET, and then two weeks ago switched into NBC's Sunday night slot, has been postponed until Tuesday night because of a blizzard that hit this area Sunday afternoon. A winter storm warning was announced through 1 p.m. Monday. So about eight hours before the game's scheduled start time, the NFL announced that due to concerns about the safety of fans getting to and from the game, it would be pushed back two days.

"We're okay with it," said Eagles coach Andy Reid, whose team clinched the NFC East when the Giants lost to the Packers in Green Bay. "We're organized and prepared for this, and we completely support what the league did from a safety standpoint for everybody. 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."

The postponement will leave the Eagles with just four days of practice to prepare for next Sunday's regular-season finale against the Cowboys -- a game that still could matter for a first-round playoff bye. But Reid has it all planned out. He said his team, which had been staying at a Philadelphia hotel Saturday night, was sent home once the postponement was announced. The Eagles will return for a Monday walk-through, then stay in the hotel Monday night in advance of the Tuesday game. (It's not an uncommon practice for a home team to stay in a hotel the night before a game for purposes of curfew and pregame meetings.). Reid said he would give the team the day off Wednesday, then do "more than normal" in practice Thursday in advance of the Dallas game.

"What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season."
-- Vikings DE Jared Allen
As for the Vikings ... what's left to say? Two weeks ago, when snow collapsed the roof of the Metrodome, the Vikings had their game moved from Sunday in Minnesota to Monday in Detroit. Last week, with the Metrodome still unplayable, they played a home game outdoors at the University of Minnesota. Sunday afternoon, they learned they would be spending two more days in Philadelphia than they'd planned.

"What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season," 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."

It remains unclear what effect this postponement would have on the Vikings' starting quarterback situation. Brett Favre, who left last Monday's game with a concussion, could conceivably benefit from two extra days and start in place of Joe Webb. But in addition to two more days of Favre drama, other Vikings -- such as injured running back Adrian Peterson, who didn't play last week -- could be in better shape Tuesday night than they would have been Sunday night.

"Hey, at least it's another couple of days to heal," Peterson said. "We just have to handle this like we have everything else that's gone on this season. Coach (Leslie) Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused, and that's what we'll do."

The old NFL establishment critics immediately sent up their flares about the game being meant to be played in conditions as horrible as possible. But since Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter had already issued an emergency alert warning residents to stay indoors, the league's decision to postpone the game made sense from the standpoint of thinking about both the fans and players. But the reason it's pushed to Tuesday night instead of Monday night likely has more to do with ESPN's Monday Night window of exclusivity than the league acknowledged in its announcement.

"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.," the league's statement read. "This will allow sufficient time to ensure that roads, parking lots and the stadium are fully cleared."
Filed under: Sports