Just days before the highly anticipated Wild Card playoff game against the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen revealed why he’s not super excited to play in what are predicted to be single-digit temperatures on Saturday, January 15.
While speaking with the press on Tuesday, January 11, the 25-year-old franchise star said staying dry and warm will be a “big task” because he suffers from poor circulation in his feet.
ALL the latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here!
Asked how he’s learned to manage in frigid temperatures — Buffalo’s forecast shows a high of just 10 degrees for game day — Allen said keeping his toes “as warm and as dry as possible” is important. “I got bad circulation within my feet. My toes get really cold and they go numb a little bit,” he said.
While a wide range of symptoms can indicate poor circulation, according to Medical News Today, a lack of blood flow from the heart to a person’s hands and feet can cause sensations of pins and needles, swelling, fatigue, cramping and in some cases cognitive dysfunction.
However, Allen’s main focus is doing whatever he can to help the team win. “Both sides are cold,” he said. “It’s just what it is and we got to deal with it.”
While numerous players choose to wear long sleeves under their jerseys when playing in freezing cold weather, Allen said he’s “not a big sleeve guy.”
“I think it hurts in the run game in terms of holding onto the football and I’ve learned that throughout the course of my career so far,” he told reporters. It’s easy to stay warm on the field, he said, but on the sidelines he takes advantage of heated benches with footwarmers and larger heaters to stay comfortable.
As for the fans attending the game in person at Highmark Stadium, center Mitch Morse offered a hilarious solution to help everyone stay warm: “A beer jacket,” which he said is “fantastic” for Bills games.
“Morse says there’s a huge sense of pride knowing Highmark Stadium will be packed on Saturday night even with how cold it will be… he then said he contemplates how inebriated everyone will be HAHA,” Bills reporter Maddy Glab tweeted.
Allen Says It’s Mind Over Matter When It Comes to Playing in the Cold
Unfortunately, players on the Bills roster can’t rock a “beer jacket” during Saturday’s game, and playing outside in Buffalo in January is no easy task.
“It’s gonna be cold for both teams,” he said. “It’ll be a challenge, you know, it’s not fun getting hit in the cold, it’s not fun catching … hard passes in the cold … getting off the ground is a little more exhausting throughout the course of the game.”
“It’s more of a … mental barrier than it is a physical barrier,” Allen said.
“It’s going to be hard for both teams to catch the ball, and it’s going to be hard for both teams to hit and break tackles,” he told reporters. “Whatever team figures that out first is going to have obviously faster success and have a better chance at winning the game.”
Stefon Diggs Says Playing in Negative Temperatures ‘Ain’t Nothin’
As for Stefon Diggs, who’s Allen’s No. 1 wide receiver, he’s not at all stressed about playing in extreme cold weather. “This ain’t nothin,’ Diggs said on Tuesday. “I’ll be alright.”
Diggs, who spent the five years of his NFL career playing with the Minnesota Vikings, is no stranger to shivering temperatures. Diggs said that while trainers are wonderful in always rushing to give him a coat while on the sidelines, he doesn’t need one.
“Minnesota was negative 21 on regular basis,” Diggs said. “So, I’m not too much of a complainer. And I played in one of the coldest games in history. We played in the playoffs against Seattle, it was negative something.”
The weather when the Vikings faced the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 was indeed frightful, and according to Sports Illustrated ranks as the third-coldest game in NFL history. The weather was 6 degrees below zero, with a wind chill of -20.