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As Hurricane Ian bears down on Southwest Florida, the NFL is preparing its contingency plan for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Kansas City Chiefs game on Sunday night.
The game is currently scheduled to be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, at 8:20 p.m. ET, but the league has chosen U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in case the game cannot be played at the Bucs’ home stadium, according to ESPN.
“This is only a contingency,” NFL executive vice president Jeff Miller said, “but we will remain nimble and adaptable.”
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The Buccaneers have evacuated the area and are practicing at the Miami Dolphins facility this week.
“We can’t control the outside forces,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said, according to ESPN. “You know, our thoughts are with the city of Tampa right now, but where we have to play. Hopefully it is Tampa and everything is fine; that means we’re not damaged too much. But if we have to go play elsewhere, you know, we just have to focus and lock in. Nobody’s gonna to feel sorry for us, you know, so we’ve gotta be ready to play.”
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The Vikings’ home stadium is available as Minnesota will face off against the New Orleans Saints in London.
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The Bucs are 2-1 on the season after losing to the Green Bay Packers in Week 3. The matchup against the Chiefs will be the marquee matchup of the NFL slate, with Patrick Mahomes facing off against Brady for the sixth time.
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“Great opponent, well-coached, great quarterback, explosive offense, great D-coordinator, a lot of talented players on defense,” Brady said on the “Let’s Go!” podcast this week when asked about the disruptions caused by Hurricane Ian. “They lost a tough one on the road, so they’ll be hungry. They’ll kind of have a normal week of prep.
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“When you are dealing with a lot of things that we’re going to have to deal with this week, there’s built in excuses that should never be excuses for anything. We have to approach the week with a championship attitude that no matter what we face and no matter who plays, we’re going to have to go out there and find a way to win the game.”
Kansas City is coming off the team’s first loss of the season, falling to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3.