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A bizarre Saturday started with the New York Giants leaving nearly four hours early to beat the Midwest snow, only to end up stranded in Kansas City for the night and having their game against the Minnesota Vikings postponed until 7:20 p.m. ET Monday.The teams will play at Ford Field in Detroit.
Nearly 17 inches of snow fell in Minneapolis and winds gusted past 30 mph. ESPN's Ed Werder reported that a leak formed on the Metrodome roof, where snow had accumulated.
"Due to the severe weather conditions and on the recommendation of Metrodome officials, the Giants-Vikings game will be moved to Monday night," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.
|The New York Giants were stranded in Kansas City after a blizzard caused their plane to land before reaching Minnesota.|
FOX will have regional coverage of the game in both Minnesota and New York. The change won't affect the Monday Night Football game; Baltimore and Houston which will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, as scheduled.
The Giants and Vikings were originally scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. The change gives Brett Favre another 31 hours for his injured shoulder to recuperate. The Vikings quarterback, who didn't throw during Saturday's walk-through, has started an NFL-record 297 consecutive games.
The Monday night start not only gives Favre more time to heal, it also helps the Giants' injury situation. Wide receivers Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks are listed as questionable. Smith (pectoral) will play and Nicks (leg) is expected to play. Center Shaun O'Hara, who is listed as doubtful with a foot injury, also made the trip.
Despite their unexpected detour to Kansas City, the Giants were initially expected to show up in Minnesota on Sunday morning, approximately three hours before the originally scheduled kickoff.
Even with the extra day, the Giants have had an exhausting trip. They moved their 1 p.m. flight to 9:30 a.m. Saturday in an attempt to beat the snow. But they were diverted to Kansas City, where they spent 2½ hours at the airport. It took another 45 minutes to get to a hotel.
The Giants held their regular Saturday meetings at the hotel. Prior to the postponement, the Giants were scheduled for a brutal Sunday: wake up at 6 a.m., depart their Kansas City hotel at 7:15 a.m. and get back on their charter to depart at 8 a.m. so they could be in Minneapolis by 9 a.m.
They were then to go straight to the stadium and play a few hours later. Giants coach Tom Coughlin certainly has to be happier with the NFL's change.
"We're going to have a good evening of meetings, get a good night's sleep, fly to Minneapolis and play a great game," defensive end Justin Tuck said in a quote tweeted by the team prior to the NFL postponement hours later. "No excuses."
When the team was stranded at the Kansas City airport, Tuck jokingly told ESPN.com NFC East blogger Matt Mosley that Coughlin would probably run the team through a spontaneous walk-through.
"I bet we end up having a walk-through in one of the hangars," Tuck cracked.
Coughlin certainly has his work cut out for him. He must find a way to get his team ready to play in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL despite being handed less-than-ideal traveling conditions.
The Giants (8-4) are also facing the rejuvenated Vikings (5-7), who have won two straight under interim coach Leslie Frazier. Favre is listed as questionable and barely was able to throw with a shoulder injury suffered last Sunday -- but the Giants fully expect him to keep his streak alive. They prepared for both Favre and Tarvaris Jackson during the week.
Not only do the Giants have to win on the road, but they will have a quick turnaround to prepare for their biggest game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles at home next Sunday in a game that will decide the NFC East.
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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