NFL notebook: Bills trying to clear snow in time for game Sunday
BUFFALO, N.Y. — With 4 feet of snow having fallen at Ralph Wilson Stadium over the past two days, the Bills are racing the clock and Mother Nature to have the facility cleared in time to host the Jets on Sunday.
With another 1 to 2 feet of snow projected to fall by Thursday night, it’s unclear whether they’ll make it.
It usually takes three days to clear a 1-foot snowfall, said Andy Major, the team’s vice president of operations. The snow removal has begun, and Major hoped to round up 500 people to work three shifts around the clock to clear the facility.
The NFL will have the final say on whether to postpone the game or have it played elsewhere.
Tate to Vikings
The Vikings claimed running back Ben Tate off waivers from the Browns.
Tate was signed Wednesday, when running backs Matt Asiata (concussion) and Jerick McKinnon (lower back injury) were held out of practice. The move also came the day after the NFL announced a suspension of running back Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Tate was the Browns’ featured ball carrier for a while this season while he was healthy, but his playing time dwindled as rookies Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West emerged.
Ahmad Brooks apologized to his 49ers teammates and coaches for a sideline rant.
Brooks said he was benched for the second half of Sunday’s 16-10 win against the Giants for heated words he directed at defensive line coach Jim Tomsula in the second quarter. The outside linebacker apologized to Tomsula and said they have moved forward.
Lynch fined $50K
The NFL fined Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch $50,000 for violations of the league’s media policy.
League spokesman Michael Signora confirmed the fine, which will total $100,000 against the Seahawks’ standout. Along with the $50,000 for violating the NFL media policy this year, the league is collecting the $50,000 fine that was imposed against Lynch for violations last season. The fine from 2013 was held in anticipation of future cooperation from Lynch.
The league’s media policy mandates that players must be available during the week and in the locker room following all games. Lynch has spoken to reporters postgame only after Seattle’s Week 9 victory over Oakland and did not talk the past two weeks after games against the Giants and Chiefs.
HOF names semifinalists
The Pro Football Hall of Fame narrowed the list of candidates for the Class of 2015 to 26.
Headlining the list of semifinalists are two-time league MVP Kurt Warner, linebacker Junior Seau and cornerback Ty Law, an Aliquippa graduate. Semifinalists with Steelers ties are Jerome Bettis, Kevin Greene and Tony Dungy.
The list will be narrowed to 15 in January.
Around the league
Browns linebacker Jabaal Sheard’s foot injury is not as severe as originally feared, and he could be back this season. … Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald did not practice, and coach Bruce Arians said the star wide receiver is “iffy” for Sunday’s game at Seattle. … Chargers QB Philip Rivers has a chest injury but will play Sunday against St. Louis.