With a 2 p.m. snow emergency declared by Mayor Michael Nutter, tonight's Eagles Vikings game has been postponed until 8 p.m. Tuesday, the NFL announced.
"We’re OK with it," coach Andy Reid a pool reporter. "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 walk through 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 NFL issued the following statement:
"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 pm. 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. NBC will televise the game nationally."
The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. and probably could have been played just fine at that time, but two weeks ago NBC "flexed" it to Sunday night, because of the Eagles' popularity on the national stage.
Nutter's "emergency" declaration, made before more than a few flakes of snow had fallen, might have put the team and the NFL in a difficult legal situation, in terms of asking many thousands of people to head down to the Linc in hazardous conditions. Judging from Twitter, players are amazed and upset by the postponement, which, again, occurred before there was any snow accumulation whatsoever in Philadelphia. "This (stinks) man," LeSean McCoy tweeted.
Remember, if the Giants should lose today in Green Bay, the Eagles will be NFC East champions without playing. But if the Giants win, the Birds are suddenly under a little pressure, with the Vikings Tuesday (does Brett Favre now play?) and the Cowboys 5 days later.
While snow might have grounded the Birds' high-flying offense today, I'm sure players and coaches would have preferred to take their chances. Pretty sure the Vikings, who of course are already in Philadelphia, feel the same way.
By the way, the Cowboys played last night, so they will have a huge rest advantage by next Sunday. But they still won't have Tony Romo, who is on IR.
“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.”
Reid said the Eagles will give the players off Wednesday after the game and then return to practice for next Sunday's game on Thursday. Reid said Thursday's practice will be more involved than normal. Remember, the teams did just play several weeks ago.
"We’ll have a normal Friday, bring them to the hotel Saturday, and go Sunday,” Reid said.
For the Vikings, these weather oddities are nothing new, after seeing the roof collapse in the Metrodome, forcing a "home" game in Detroit; then the first outdoor game in Minnesota since the late 1970s and now this.
“I sense that the guys wanted information," Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said of what was a hectic morning. "They wanted to know what was going on, what was happening. Once that information was conveyed, it seemed as if they understood the situation. They knew exactly what we needed to do to stay focused on what we came up here to do, and that’s to get a win against the Eagles. I didn’t sense discouragement, I didn’t sense disappointment. I sensed relief in knowing (when and where) the game was going to be played.”
Running back Adrian Peterson said, “Hey, at least it’s another couple of days to heal. We just have to handle this like we have everything else that has gone on this season. Coach Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused, and that’s what we’ll do. This is just another bump in the road.”
Added defensive lineman Jared Allen: “What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season. 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.”
PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police also have issued a statement, this one in support of the decision to postpone the game:
"PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police fully support the National Football League (NFL) for its decision to postpone tonight’s football game at Lincoln Financial Field between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings due to the major snowstorm striking the Greater Philadelphia Region.
"The re-scheduling of the game until Tuesday will enable snow-removal equipment and public safety resources to be more broadly deployed during tonight’s snow storm.
"Both state agencies will be working around the clock to keep Pennsylvania highways passable and respond to any emergency situations that may develop. The NFL’s decision will fortunately keep thousands of additional motorists off state roadways at a time when the region is receiving the full brunt of this massive storm and both the PSP and PennDOT applaud this decision."
In case you are arranging your Sunday television viewing, NBC announced that it will still air "Football Night in America" from 7 to 8:30, with Bob Costas, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth from Lincoln Financial Field.
As part of the show, NBC will air its usual segments from its New York studio with highlights from around the NFL and an interview with Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier scheduled.