The Giants versus the Vikings will take on a different feel after it was announced the teams’ game Sunday has been relocated due to heavy snowfall that tore a hole in the Metrodome inflatable roof.
The game, which will be played 7:20 p.m. EST Monday night at Detroit’s Ford Field, had already been postponed after more than 17 inches of snow that fell during Friday and Saturday put a stop to travel in the Minneapolis area, forcing the Giants to divert their team flight to Kansas City.
Other than the oddity of changing the venue to a neutral site, what does the postponement mean for both teams?
First and foremost, injury lists on both sides may shrink.
The most obvious benefactor may be Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who on Sunday expressed doubt as to whether the extra day of rest would enable him to play with the injury to his throwing shoulder. Favre, who has started an NFL-record 297 consecutive games, sustained the injury last week against Buffalo and, outside of soft-tossing, did not throw in practice.
Favre told ESPN Saturday night that he had no plans of playing Sunday, instead giving way to backup Tavaris Jackson, who threw two touchdowns and three interceptions in the Vikings’ 38-14 win over Buffalo.
Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (ankle), Bernard Berrian (groin) and Sidney Rice (hip) were all active participants in Friday’s practice, and each was expected to play on Sunday. The extra day could benefit defensive end Ray Edwards, who was scheduled to be a game-time decision Sunday because of an ankle injury. Same goes for wide receiver Percy Harvin, who was listed as doubtful earlier this week with migraines.
New York head coach Tom Coughlin said earlier this week he was optimistic several of his walking wounded would play Sunday, and the extra day definitely doesn’t hurt.
Hakeem Nicks (leg) is expected to play Monday after missing each of the last two games. Steve Smith, the Giants third-leading receiver, is still recovering from a partially torn pectoral muscle but is on track to see the field, despite being limited in practice during the week.
Ahmad Bradshaw, the team’s leading rusher, is also expected to play, leaving offensive tackle Shaun Andrews (back) as the only Giants player who will miss action Monday.
The change in venue certainly is an advantage for the Giants, who may be playing for first place in the NFC East Monday night—depending on the outcome of Sunday night’s game between Philadelphia and Dallas.
The Viking’s home-field advantage negated, New York will now play before what figures to be a far less partisan crowd in Detroit, though ticket-holders for Sunday’s game will be given preferred seating along the 50-yard line. Free general admission tickets will also be available at the Ford Field box office beginning at 9 a.m. EST.