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By Judd Zulgad / McClatchy Newspapers, Published December 12 2010

NFL: Vikings and Giants to play Monday night

MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings might play their games indoors, but that didn’t stop Mother Nature from getting involved during a season that hasn’t lacked for drama or intrigue.

The latest twist came Saturday night when the NFL announced it was moving the Vikings game against the Giants at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome to Monday night because of the blizzard that dumped a foot or more of snow on much of the state.

“Due to the severe weather conditions and on the recommendation of Metrodome officials, the Giants-Vikings game will be moved to Monday night,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail.

The game will be at 7 p.m. CST.

The decision was made by NFL executives on Saturday night after they initially said they planned to have the game remain a noon kickoff today. A primary issue was the amount of snow on the roof of Mall of America Field at the Metrodome.

Steve Maki, director of facilities and engineering for the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, said the seven workers who were trying to remove snow from the roof Saturday night were told to come down because of the high winds.

“There is no structural issue occurring but we have a pretty heavy snow load up there and the way the wind was blowing it was getting really nasty for our crews so we pulled them down, and we’re going to have them back up there tomorrow morning to remove the snow.”

The Giants likely aren’t upset by the delay. The team’s plane had left for the Twin Cities about 3½ hours earlier than originally scheduled Saturday in an attempt to get to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport before the storm became too intense but the plane ended up being diverted to Kansas City. The Giants had been scheduled to depart Kansas City at 8 a.m. today.

The delay appears to be very good news for Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who has started an NFL-record 297 consecutive regular-season games but was unsure if he could extend that streak because of a sprained SC joint in his throwing shoulder suffered last Sunday.

Favre, whose availability was going to be a game-time decision, now gets an extra day of rest.