BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills executives Ron Rakuya and Derek Boyka weren’t going to let a little — actually a lot — of snow stop them from taking left tackle Dion Dawkins Saturday morning.

When their car couldn’t get any further due to snowbanks blocking the road in one of Buffalo’s southern suburbs, Raccuia did the next best thing.

“Ron said, ‘I’m going to walk over to Dion’s house and walk him to the car.’ And that’s exactly what he did,” said Boyka, the Bills’ vice president of communications.

No big deal, Rakuya added in a phone interview with The Associated Press as he and Boyka headed to Buffalo International Airport to catch the Bills’ flight to Detroit for their postponed home game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

“It was probably a quarter mile,” said Rakuya, the team’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Boika would do the same thing.”

The operation to get everyone to the team building began at 9:30am and ended with all staff and players boarding buses that received a police escort to the airport for the 45-minute flight that departed around 4:45pm. EST.

The Bills are set to play at Ford Field in downtown Detroit after a powerful lake-effect storm dumped 7 feet of snow on western New York since Thursday night. One of the hardest hit areas was Orchard Park, where the Bills are based and many of their players live.

“We had a lot of resources ready to help, including several snowmobile clubs,” Rakuya said, although in the end the snowmobiles weren’t needed.

“We had snowplow drivers, we had staff, everybody in football operations, security, game day tickets, Derek, myself, everybody pitched in,” he added. “We had car parks. We dug the players out of their driveways. We have selected the players. Anything you can think of to do it.”

Many players posted videos and photos on social media to thank the many residents who helped them in a place that calls itself “The City of Good Neighbors.”

“Wow, let’s go. Never seen anything like it,” Dawson Knox said in a video clip showing neighbors digging a path for him and fellow tight end Tommy Sweeney to get from their house to the road.

Backup quarterback Case Keenum shared a video of several people clearing snow from his driveway.

Tight end Quinten Morris woke up to find his driveway already cleared and posted a photo with a note that read, “God bless whoever did this.”

The storm came on almost the same day as in 2014, when another heavy snowfall forced the Bills to move to Detroit, where Buffalo was beaten 38-3 by the New York Jets.

This time around, the logistics of moving the game were more complicated, in a decision announced Thursday,

The NFL couldn’t move the game back a day like it did eight years ago because the Bills already face a short week before returning to Detroit to play the Lions on Thanksgiving.

In Detroit, Lions coach Dan Campbell said stadium crews had to dismantle some equipment already in place for Thursday’s pregame show so the Browns and Bills could play.

Despite the short notice, tickets for Sunday’s game sold out in the first few hours they were available Friday, Rakuya said.

“The Lions deserve a huge amount of credit for preparing the stadium for us. Our fans were unbelievable,” Rakuya said. “It is very impressive the dedication, skill and commitment that everyone has shown.”

NOTES: The Bills released CB Xavier Rhodes and WR Tanner Gentry from their practice squad for Sunday’s game. … The Browns planned to make the 170-mile trip to Detroit by bus.


AP Sportswriter Larry Lage contributed.

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