MIAMI. – Hurricane Irma’s looming arrival has forced the NFL to reschedule the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins opening-week game.
The new game between the two teams is set for Nov. 19, when the two teams share a bye week. The Dolphins will host the Bucs at Hard Rock Stadium.
The NFL released the following statement on Wednesday:
“The NFL announced yesterday that in the interest of public safety in light of the continuing state of emergency, the league, in consultation with state and local officials as well as both clubs, would not play an NFL game in South Florida this week.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the impacted area.”
The Bucs and Dolphins were initially scheduled to play at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. Both teams are now scheduled to play in 16 consecutive weeks.
Bucs defensive tackle Chris Baker tweeted his displeasure with the NFL's decision.
"Clearly no one is thinking about #playersafety no one knows how it feels to medicate yourself all week to just to play on Sunday 😡😡😡," he tweeted Wednesday morning.
Clearly no one is thinking about #playersafety no one knows how it feels to medicate yourself all week to just to play on Sunday 😡😡😡— Chris Baker (@cbakerswaggy) September 6, 2017
The NFL had discussed the idea of moving Sunday's game to a neutral site, with New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as the primary options, but decided against playing the game.
The Buccaneers will now open their season Sept. 10 at Raymond James Stadium against the Chicago Bears.
Irma is a Category 5 hurricane as of the National Hurricane Center's 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, advisory.
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