Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs expected to announce they'll play Sunday in Tampa

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston jumps through a growing puddle before a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns last month at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston jumps through a growing puddle before a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns last month at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

Coach Dirk Koetter went to his office at One Buc Place to work on Sunday, with televisions tuned to both NFL games and the Weather Channel watching Hurricane Irma.

"All good here,'' Koetter said in a text Monday morning. "Just waiting now. More anxiety.''

Koetter's wait will end soon. The Bucs are expected to announce today that Sunday's home opener against the Chicago Bears will be played at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium as scheduled.

The Bucs were still working through a bunch of logistics problems Monday. First they had to wait to see what damage to the infrastructure was done in Tampa Bay the giant storm. But it appears much of the area avoided what could have been a worse wallop.

The Bucs plan to have a team walk-through workout on Tuesday evening and begin workouts and a normal schedule Wednesday at One Buc Place. The team had made a contingency plan to practice at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday. Gophers' head coach P.J. Fleck was a receivers coach on the Bucs' staff under Greg Schiano. But it never came to that.

A good sign came early Monday when Tampa International Airport announced that they would resume full flight and terminal operations Tuesday. The Bucs ownership chartered five small planes Saturday to take 130 football and business staff members, players, coaches and their families to Charlotte, N.C.

But many players are scattered throughout the country. Quarterback Jameis Winston is at his family home in Alabama. Gerald McCoy returned to Oklahoma. Some players returned to the west coast.

"Good morning,'' McCoy tweeted Monday. "Praying everybody is ok. And made it through the night.''

Getting 53 players and 10 practice squad members to reassemble in Tampa Bay by Wednesday is no easy task. Some will have to rely on commercial airline carriers, others may need charters. Still others could have to navigate highways strewn with debris from the storm.

That doesn't include the support staff the Bucs rely on to operate One Buc Place and host a game at Raymond James Stadium. In some cases, homes may not be accessible or could be damaged, meaning the team will need to secure hotel space in Tampa.

The Bucs regular season opener against the Dolphins in Miami was postponed until Nov. 19. As a result, players were excused for their bye week. The Bucs planned all along to begin practice Wednesday. The Dolphins relocated about 150 staff members, players, coaches and family to Oxnard, Calif., on Friday. The team plans to practice at the Dallas Cowboys training camp practice facility before playing the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday.

Despite all the contingencies, the Bucs are very committed practicing and playing the Bears in Tampa on Sunday.

Contact Rick Stroud at stroudbucs@aol.com. Follow @NFLStroud

Bucs expected to announce they'll play Sunday in Tampa 09/11/17 [Last modified: Monday, September 11, 2017 4:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays up next: at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Today: Off

    Up next: at Yankees, 7:10 Tuesday, Yankee Stadium

  2. Here kitty, kitty ...

    Blogs

    In a toned down version of the annual rookie dress-up day based on MLB's new anti-hazing policy, Rays rookie players and staff - plus second-year LHP Blake Snell - donned DJ Kitty onesies for the trip to New York.

    Rays rookie players and staff - joined here by Alex Colome - sporting their DJ Kitty onesies before the flight to New York.
  3. Lightning's Nikita Kucherov has a lot to say — about moving on to a much better season

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov sits back in his stall and smiles.

    Laughs a little, too.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) prepares for a faceoff during the first period of Friday's  (9/22/17) preseason game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Times columnist Tom Jones gives his report card from the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday:

    HERE WE GO AGAIN?

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]