The team’s hotel in Jersey City is still without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and every other hotel in the vicinity is filled to capacity. So instead of traveling the day before their game, the Steelers will fly into Newark, N.J., on Sunday morning and then bus to MetLife Stadium ahead of the 4:25 p.m. kickoff, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King reported that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell discussed the prospect of postponing or re-locating Sunday’s contest so as not to divert resources from the storm recovery effort. But New Jersey’s mayor reportedly elected to go ahead with the game as scheduled. The Giants and the league are planning to recognize first-responders during the game, King reported.
Former Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy does not expect the itinerary change to have a major effect on Pittsburgh’s game preparation.
“They should be OK but it’s not ideal,” Dungy told Pro Football Talk. “Players are creatures of habit and this will break up their routine.”
The Steelers (4-3) need to win to keep things close with Baltimore (5-2) atop the AFC North while the Giants (6-2) gain further separate themselves from the floundering NFC East.