NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Denver Broncos braved New Jersey’s chilly winter winds again on Wednesday, holding their main outdoor practice session in the final countdown to Sunday’s Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks.
Head coach John Fox gave his players a solid 90-minute workout at the New York Jets training facility after they limbered up with a gentle walk-through on the synthetic field.
Despite the frigid conditions, Fox has made his players train outside rather than utilize the indoor training center at the Jets facility.
Sunday’s game will be played at night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It will be the first time the Super Bowl has been played in an outdoor stadium in a cold weather state.
“We’re pretty much weather-proof. We practice in this stuff all the time,” Fox said. “Being in Denver, we’ve played in a few different elements.
“We’ve practiced in snow many times. We’re pretty much ready for anything.”
The Broncos also trained outdoors on Monday but Wednesday’s session was more intense, with the players all padded up for a more physical workout.
Defensive tackle Sione Fua, who is nursing a calf injury, was the only member of the Broncos’ 53-player squad who did not participate in the training.
The Denver kicker Matt Prater made his first appearance of the week after missing Monday’s practise because of flu.
“I wanted to see how well they would re-boot, get re-charged and practice what we’ve put in, Fox said.
“They recalled it and it went very well. We had a very good practice.”
The Seahawks, training at the New York Giants’ facility, which is also in New Jersey, also had the pads on for a full-scale workout, but held their session indoors.
Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player to skip the practise but Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said he would be fine to play the game.
“This is the day we rest Marshawn. Wednesday is always a rest day for him. We’ve been doing that for years, and it’s always worked out great,” Carroll said.
“We’re in great shape. We’re just as fortunate as can be to be in this kind of shape this late in the year.”
WEATHER UNLIKELY TO BE BIG FACTOR ON SUPER SUNDAY
By Julian Linden
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The weather forecast for Sunday’s Super Bowl in New Jersey is getting better by the day, alleviating fears the biggest game in American professional sports could be spoiled by Mother Nature.
Players and spectators at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford will still have to bundle up with temperatures expected to be around freezing point but chances of a major winter storm were quickly disappearing.
On Wednesday, four days before the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks clash in the NFL’s title game, meteorologists were predicting game-day temperatures would reach a high of 44 Fahrenheit and a low of 27F.
They said the sky would be partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain or snow and light winds, of around six-to-eight miles an hour.
The early forecasts will come as a welcome relief to the National Football League who broke with tradition by deciding to stage the game in an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather region.
The NFL had prepared a range of contingency plans to deal with any weather problems from having snow melters on site that can melt 661 tons of snow an hour to the possibility of staging the game on a different day.
Earlier this month, their fears were intensifying when the U.S. East Coast was hit by a polar vortex that produced some of the coldest weather in years.
Tons of snow were dumped on New Jersey, forcing businesses and schools to close and the cancellation of thousands of flights around the country.
Officials have been putting on a brave face. Earlier this week, Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets and the co-chairman of the Super Bowl host committee, said he would even welcome a little snow.
“A nice sunny day with a little snow flurry would be nice,” he told a news conference.
“I want to compliment the other 30 owners for giving us the privilege to host this and to break the ice barrier and play it in an environment where I think football should be played – outside, in the weather.”
The weather has been one of the dominant topics of conversation in the build-up to the game although both teams have said they were prepared for anything and unfazed by the prospect of playing in snow.
“We’re kind of weatherproof,” said Denver head coach John Fox. “We live in an area where we’ve had all the elements. We’ve played in single digit.
“We’ve played in snow. We’ve played in wind. Like both teams, you’ve got to manage the elements.”