Bills Face Huge Roadblock Getting Home After Airport Closure

Josh Allen

The Bills may not be able to get home in time for Christmas after the Buffalo airport closed.

The Buffalo Bills (12-3) left a day early in order to avoid the historically massive snowstorm hitting Western, New York in order to get to Chicago to face the Bears (3-12) on Christmas Eve. However, the trip back home may not be easy, or even possible as Buffalo Niagra International Airport has closed.

Just before kickoff of December 24, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted, “Buffalo’s airport is now scheduled to be closed until 11 am Monday, and so the Bills will have to work through their travel options to home from Chicago during and after today’s game vs. the Bears.”

The Bills faced backlash back in Week 11 for not getting out of Buffalo earlier to travel to Ford Field after their game against the Cleveland Browns was relocated to Detroit to due a huge snowstorm hitting Buffalo. However, as the meteorologists predicted, there was a clearing on Saturday afternoon which lifted the travel ban and allowed the team to fly out and land in the Motor City 18 hours before kickoff, as required by the NFL’s rules and guidelines.

While having to wait a few days to fly home wouldn’t normally be a huge deal, it’s safe to assume every single member of the Bills coaching staff and roster is gunning to be back in Buffalo to spend Christmas with their family.

UPDATE: After the Bills defeated the Bears 35-13, NFL Network‘s Stacey Dales tweeted, “With Buffalo’s airport currently closed through Monday due to inclement weather, the Buffalo Bills will spend Christmas Eve overnight in Chicago. Per source, the plan as of now is to fly into a nearby airport at some point tomorrow morning, then bus back to Buffalo.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said they will look into flying into Rochester on Christmas morning, per ESPN‘s Alaina Getzenberg.

All Flights Are Cancelled & Most Major Highways Have Been Closed

Twitter strongly reacted to Schefter’s report as fans tried to figure out alternate ways for the Bills to get home. One person suggested, “Fly into Rochester and bus,” to which a man responded, “90 is closed,” when taking Route 5 was suggested, one man tweeted, “I think everything is closed today with the driving ban.”

While the temperatures are freezing in Chicago, Buffalo is in the midst of a complete whiteout with high winds by the airport recording 70 miles per hour and visibility at zero. Not only have all flights been canceled, but most major highways have also been shut down. The 219, 400, 290, route 5, and 190 are closed, along with The Peace, Rainbow and Lewiston Queenston bridges.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz put out a warning for anyone attempting to drive in the blizzard. “If law enforcement can even get to you, which is a good question, because it is very dangerous, it’s very difficult for them to get out there,” Poloncarz said, per WGRZ. “They will be written up a ticket for a class ‘B’ misdemeanor. They will at best remove you from your vehicle – this is first responders and law enforcement.”

A Bengals fan suggested, “Just immediately go to Cincy. Give them time to prepare for an inevitable defeat 😏,” as the Bills face Cincinnati in Week 17, while another person joked, “Hitch a ride with Santa.”

The Bills Can Clinch AFC East Title With a Win Over Bears

One thing that will make the hardship of traveling back to Buffalo easier will be if the Bills can get a win over the Bears on Saturday. The Bills are considered 9.5-point favorites to beat Chicago, and with a victory, can clinch their third straight AFC East title.

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