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updated: 9/12/2017 12:17 PM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cleared to host Chicago Bears on Sunday

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  • The Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play in Tampa this weekend at Raymond James Stadium, Buccaneers officials announced Tuesday. The Bucs will finally get to start the NFL season after their first game was postponed by Hurricane Irma's wrath.

    The Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play in Tampa this weekend at Raymond James Stadium, Buccaneers officials announced Tuesday. The Bucs will finally get to start the NFL season after their first game was postponed by Hurricane Irma's wrath.
    Associated Press/2016 file photo

 
By Mark Maske
The Washington Post

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' game Sunday against the Chicago Bears will be played in Tampa as scheduled, the team announced Tuesday.

"We have been working tirelessly with the Tampa Sports Authority, as well as the NFL league office, to ensure that Raymond James Stadium would be available to host our season opener against the Chicago Bears this Sunday," Brian Ford, the team's chief operating officer, said in a written statement. "Hosting the game is important to us, as Tampa Bay has been through a lot over the past few days. We look forward to providing our fans and the entire region an opportunity to come together this Sunday to kick off our 2017 season."

The NFL and other sports organizations have been dealing with scheduling issues related to the impact of Hurricane Irma on cities throughout Florida. This weekend's game will be the season opener for the Buccaneers after their game at Miami last Sunday was postponed and rescheduled for Nov. 19, which was to be a bye week for both teams.

The league might make a determination as soon as later today about the status of Sunday's Jaguars-Titans game scheduled to be played in Jacksonville. The Jaguars were to return to Jacksonville on Tuesday after spending Monday in Houston following their game there Sunday. Jaguars officials were to assess their facilities and speak to local officials.

The Jaguars and Titans have a mutual bye Oct. 29. They're also scheduled to play Dec. 31 in Nashville. It is not clear if the game, if it cannot be played Sunday, would be moved to the bye week or if the teams would switch home dates. In other cases, games also have been relocated to other cities.

The schedule reshuffling is creating some competitive issues. The Dolphins and Buccaneers will play 16 straight weeks following their unplanned Week 1 bye. The Dolphins, in an attempt to ease their travel burden a bit, inquired with the league about the possibility of moving their Oct. 1 game against the New Orleans Saints from London to Miami. They were told that is "not possible," according to a person familiar with the deliberations, confirming a Miami Herald report.

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