America is bracing for another hurricane to hit landfall this week.
Hurricane Irma is barreling toward Florida, picking up steam as it becomes a dangerous Category 5 hurricane, with winds increasing to 175 mph.
With Hurricane Irma expected to hit U.S. mainland this weekend, the NFL and local officials continue to monitor the hurricane in regards to the Miami Dolphins-Tampa Bay Buccaneers tilt in South Florida on Sunday afternoon, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
The teams are currently scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET.
Unfortunately the 00Z Euro (ECMWF) is in good agreement with the GFS; very dangerous Hurricane Irma moving up the Florida Peninsula Sunday. pic.twitter.com/gDTgAJK17G??? James Spann (@spann) September 5, 2017
If officials deem the situation to be too dangerous -- particularly for tens of thousands of people gathering in one area -- moving to a neutral location, moving the game up to beat the storm, or postponing it could become options. The NFL has moved games to neutral cites in the past (notably the Bills and Jets playing in Detroit in 2014 after a huge snowstorm in upstate New York).
Dolphins coach Adam Gase offered no update Tuesday on the team's plans, telling reporters, "We're going to keep practicing and getting ready for the game until somebody tells us differently."
"I've never really been through anything like that," Gase told reporters Tuesday about the hurricane being a possible Category 5. "I don't know what to expect."
There is also precedent for the NFL postponing the game until later in the season. In 2008, after Hurricane Ike damaged NRG Stadium in Houston, the NFL re-worked the schedule giving the Ravens and Texans a Week 2 bye and played the matchup in Week 9. The Dolphins and Buccaneers both have a bye Week 11 this season.
Regardless of what decision officials make, we at NFL Network hope everyone in the path of Hurricane Irma stays safe.