PHILADELPHIA (AP) – While the Minnesota Vikings ate cheesesteaks and acted like tourists, the Philadelphia Eagles savored a division title they clinched from their couches.
Both teams had to wait another day to play the first NFL game on a Tuesday in 64 years.
The Vikings-Eagles game was switched from Sunday night to Tuesday night because of a winter storm before any snow had even accumulated. About a foot of snow fell on Philadelphia, though less than 5 inches was on the ground before the scheduled kickoff at 8:20 p.m. EST.
By Monday morning, it was bright and sunny at Lincoln Financial Field. But the league had already postponed the game because of the uncertainty of the forecast.
On Monday, the Eagles held their typical walkthrough a day before a game, then checked into a team hotel. The Vikings took the field first for a workout at the Eagles’ practice facility and returned to their downtown hotel.
Many players thought the game should have been played Sunday night. So did Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who said Vince Lombardi would be “mocking us” for the postponement.
“The roads are bad for East Coast standards,” Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. “But if this was in the Midwest there would be no way that this would be delayed. No way it would be delayed in the Midwest. No way. … It’s something that baffles me. But I’m not here to make decisions on when games are played.”
The Vikings (5-9) are getting used to this. Their previous two games also were affected by the weather. Their home game against the Giants on Dec. 12 was postponed a day after Minneapolis got 15 inches of snow. It was then moved to Detroit when the Metrodome roof collapsed.
Their game against Chicago last week was played at the University of Minnesota’s outdoor stadium because of the damaged roof.
“There aren’t very many, if any, that have experienced what we’ve experienced, or at the level that we’ve experienced it,” Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said. “Or dealing with some of the injuries; some situations we’ve had to face during this period. But I know for me, I’ve learned a lot through it. Things I think will help me in the future. I think we’ll look back at it one day and say: ‘That’s one of the reasons we’re playing as well or doing as well as an organization as we are now because of that experience in 2010.”‘
The game will be played at 8 p.m. EST., and televised nationally by NBC. It was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, but was shifted because of the NFL’s flex scheduling.
This will be Philadelphia’s sixth prime-time game this season. The Eagles (10-4) are 5-0 under the lights.
Despite having the day off Sunday, the Eagles secured their first NFC East crown since 2006 when the Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants 45-17.
The Eagles still have plenty at stake. They would secure a first-round bye if they beat Minnesota and Dallas, and Chicago loses to Green Bay next Sunday.
“I don’t think it’s a problem,” coach Andy Reid said about having to play two games in five days. “I think we’ll be all right.”
The extra time off could help some banged-up Vikings players. Brett Favre remains doubtful because of a concussion, and Frazier said the 41-year-old quarterback still hadn’t passed initial testing.
“That concussion is such a tenuous deal that we’ll see what happens,” Frazier said. “But there is a battery of tests that he still has to pass that he hasn’t passed, so it’s hard to change his status right now.”
Running back Adrian Peterson was listed as questionable because of a right knee injury, but Frazier is optimistic he can play.
“Hey, at least it’s another couple of days to heal,” Peterson said when he learned the game was moved. “We just have to handle this like we have everything else that has gone on this season. Coach Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused and that’s what we’ll do. This is just another bump in the road.”
This will be the 23rd NFL game played on a Tuesday. The New York Giants beat the Boston Yanks 17-0 on Oct. 1, 1946, in the last one.
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