[Update: It was just announced on NFL Network that the game has now been officially moved to the Week 11 bye week for both teams and postponed from this weekend.]
Hurricane Irma was updated to a Category 5 overnight, and by current projections, is moving toward Miami by the weekend. The game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins being played in Miami on Sunday at 1 p.m. is untenable. The NFL is exploring options for when, and where, the game can be played.
According to Armando Salguero, neither team wants to move the game to later this year. Both have a bye week in week 11, so logistically, it would be easy to just move the game to that week. But the teams don’t want to lose the week off.
Of course, we’ve seen teams have to make adjustments to the schedule that weren’t desirable, but had to be done because of a natural disaster.
If the NFL does not move the game to week 11, then the other options are to:
a) move it up and play it early in Miami (as the Chiefs and Dolphins did on a Friday night in 2005, ahead of Hurricane Wilma);
b) move it up but play somewhere else further north in Florida (Orlando?), where it is less likely to be impacted as soon;
c) keep the game on Sunday but move it to a neutral site, like Jacksonville or Charlotte (the Jaguars are at Houston and Panthers at San Francisco) or a college stadium
The problem with a Friday night move is figuring out if it is still safe to move it up, keep it in Miami, and stay ahead of evacuation efforts.
The safest move is to postpone it and use the bye week, but from a football perspective, the teams and coaches do not want to give up a week off in the middle of the season that is available to the thirty other teams. They may not have a choice. The NFL is expected to make a decision soon.