While it seems as though the NFL is still planning on playing Week 5 games in the southeast, the threat of Hurricane Matthew is causing them to consider backup plans.
“In lieu of Hurricane Matthew, Roger Goodell met this afternoon with league officials to conduct contingency planning for Sunday’s Tennessee at Miami game as well as Monday’s Tampa Bay at Carolina game, according to NFL senior VP of communication Natalie Ravitz,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. “No decisions are expected until tomorrow, at the earliest, per Ravitz. The league is staying in close contact with local and state authorities about the hurricane. The league does not want to do anything that will divert important resources away from communities that may be in distress.”
If the storm is as bad as expected, it’s awfully hard to imagine a football game being played in Miami on Sunday.
The Monday game is a little more plausible. The Tampa area will be hit by the storm, but not as bad as the eastern part of Florida. Additionally, the game is in Charlotte, which seems like it will be just out of the storm’s reach.
Of course, the NFL must also consider the Buccaneers’ travel concerns, as well as the obvious need of the players being sure that their homes and families are safe.
This is a situation to monitor through the week as the games get closer.