With Hurricane Irma brewing in the Atlantic and threatening to blast Florida in the coming days, the NFL announced Wednesday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Miami Dolphins regular-season opener will be moved to Week 11 (Nov. 19), when both teams were scheduled to be on bye. The league had announced Tuesday that the game would not be held in South Florida this Sunday.
The league released a statement, which read in part 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."
Neither team had wanted to play in Week 11, a scenario that will force both to play for 16 consecutive weeks.
But preparations for this week's scheduled game have been affected by hurricane precautions, and playing the contest at a neutral site was deemed the wrong solution.
When asked Monday whether it would be difficult on the teams if the game were switched to the shared bye week, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said: “What do you think? Nobody wants that. No one wants to play 16 straight. Again, they’re not asking my opinion, but I’m sure they realize that.”