Wheels up: Bills dig out from storm, fly to Detroit

by Ricardo Gutierrez - It took an all hands on deck effort to get the Buffalo Bills out of their homes and to the facility for their flight to Detroit on Saturday after a potentially record-setting snow storm hit Orchard Park, N.Y.

Bills dig out from record snow storm, set to fly to Detroit 3:19 PM ET Alaina GetzenbergESPN BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It took an all hands on deck effort to get the Buffalo Bills out of their homes and to the facility for their flight to Detroit on Saturday after a potentially record-setting snow storm hit Orchard Park, N.Y. Players received help from neighbors in the community, who provided snow blowers, shoveling and transportation. All players and coaches arrived at the facility, and the team was set to leave the airport around 4 p.m. ET for Sunday's scheduled 1 pm game against the Cleveland Browns . The site of the game was moved to Detroit on Thursday afternoon in order for the game not to divert with resources needed in the community. Editor's Picks Bills cancel practice over snow, meet virtually 1d Alaina Getzenberg NFL moves Browns-Bills to Detroit due to storm 1d Alaina Getzenberg 1 Related The area surrounding the stadium in Orchard Park received over 77 inches of snow over the course of Thursday night to Saturday. The Bills canceled Friday's practice due to the conditions and instead met virtually. Many fans helped players get out of their homes. Tight end Quintin Morris got his driveway cleared. Fullback Reggie Gilliam , who is questionable for the game with illness, asked on Twitter if anyone has a monster truck that they can pick him up in. Fans came over to right tackle Spencer Brown 's house to help him with their snow blowers. Tight ends Dawson Knox and Tommy Sweeney received help from fans coming to Knox's house with shovels. Some players even carpooled to the facility. A handful of players who live in the area of Orchard Park were among those without power Friday. "Playing a little bit of a wait-and-see game right now but anticipating having to move some things back in the morning if [the snow] does slow down," McDermott said. "Which that's the latest we're hearing, is it's supposed to slow down early tomorrow morning around the stadium here and in Orchard Park and whatnot, and then give guys time to dig out, make sure their families are good, and then we'll head into the facility, probably in a moved back schedule, just to allow for that." General manager Brandon Beane said if the decision to move the game had been made sooner, maybe they would have considered the team leaving before the storm started Thursday night. The team decided to stick to as close to their normal away-game routine as possible. The plan is to return after Sunday's game and spend a couple of days at the facility before heading back to Detroit on Wednesday to play the Lions on Thanksgiving. "Sean [McDermott] does a great job of messaging and making sure our guys understand," Beane said. "It's still going to be a football game. Everything else the same. It's a short flight. We're going to try to keep it as routine as possible. Is it a little disruption? Yes. But I think our guys are pros. They understand it." The Bills practiced indoors Wednesday because of weather but held more individual periods than a normal practice because they did not have enough players as a result of injury and illness. The team is expecting to get the players dealing with illness back for the game with Gilliam the only player with illness still holding an injury designation. The team practiced outside Thursday in anticipation of the game being held in Orchard Park and held an additional walk-through Thursday after the decision was made to move the game. "The decision to move the game to Detroit has everything to do about safety," Bills executive vice president and chief operating officer Ron Raccuia said. "Safety first has been what we've been talking about here, really for the last 48 to 72 hours