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Archive for Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ravens-Texans game postponed to Nov. 9

September 14, 2008

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— The Baltimore Ravens-Houston Texans game was rescheduled to Nov. 9 after Reliant Stadium was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike.

The Texans' home opener was originally scheduled for Sunday, then postponed to Monday night as Ike approached the Gulf Coast. The Category 2 storm slammed into Texas on Friday night and moved into Houston early Saturday morning.

Ike tore chunks off the stadium's retractable roof and the damage couldn't be fixed in time for the game, said Shea Guinn, the president and general manager of Reliant Park.

"There are parts of the roof that are completely gone," Guinn said.

The retractable roof on the $352 million venue rolls open in nine sections. Guinn said five of the sections were missing and large pieces of debris had fallen into the stadium.

"It's hard to tell what came from where," Guinn said.

The Texans said alternate sites for Monday night were considered, but logistics made them impossible.

The new date also affects the Cincinnati Bengals' schedule.

Houston was originally scheduled to play the Bengals on Nov. 9. Now, those teams will play on Oct. 26 and Cincinnati will take its bye week on Nov. 9, when the Texans now play the Ravens.

Baltimore had an open date on Nov. 9 on its original schedule.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh canceled Saturday's scheduled practice and will give players today, Monday and Tuesday off. Baltimore plays Cleveland on Sept. 21.

"We will adjust. Our focus now turns to preparing for the Browns," Harbaugh said. "Without a bye, we believe we need to give the players the next few days off. We'll have a Cleveland game plan ready for them when they come in on Wednesday."

The Texans aren't scheduled to play at home again until Oct. 5, but Guinn said he wasn't sure when repairs could be completed. He said the stadium also sustained some water damage at street level.

Reliant Stadium sits next to the Astrodome. Guinn said Saturday afternoon that he had not yet inspected the dome for storm damage. The Texans' air-supported practice "bubble" across the street was deflated Thursday and was not damaged, Guinn said.

Three years ago, when the New Orleans Saints were displaced because of Hurricane Katrina, they played four of their scheduled home games at LSU's Tiger Stadium, three in San Antonio and one in East Rutherford, N.J., against the New York Giants.

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