The Miami Dolphins will not play on Sunday afternoon this weekend. Book it. Change your plans. They will not play on Sunday in Miami.
Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a category 5 storm with sustained winds of 175 miles per hour. The current track which is still uncertain takes it to into South Florida sometime early Sunday morning. Even if a direct impact on Miami doesn’t happen, the game on Sunday simply can’t be played.
Early rain bands and wind shears are expected to begin Friday night and through Saturday with the brunt of the storm on Sunday. This storm is huge and will impact parts of Florida regardless of whether it makes landfall in Florida. The NFL and the Dolphins have been monitoring the situation and there are only a handful of options at this time. None of them are conducive to playing at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Option one has the game moved to Thursday night. Not ideal but it is the more logical option. Playing on Thursday would give the Dolphins two-day before the storm and still allow the area to prepare for the storm. Friday night would not be ideal due to the forecast.
Option two would have the game moved to a neutral location or potentially Tampa Bay. However Miami is already losing one home game to London so they are not likely going to want to move the game out of the area. Playing in Tampa would give the Buc’s an added home game which the NFL doesn’t want to do but there is still potential for storms from Irma in Tampa on Sunday depending on the track it takes.
Option three is even less desirable and that is to move the game to week 11 when both the Dolphins and the Buc’s have a bye week. Both teams have indicated to the NFL that they do not wish for this to happen. Dirk Koetter the head coach of the Buccaneers said no one wants to play 16 games straight. It is however still a potential option.
The best case scenario is for the Dolphins to host on Thursday night and the team is preparing for as though the game would be playing on Thursday and Friday. With the hurricane strengthening and getting closer, the NFL needs to make a decision soon, as in as soon as possible.