After Irma, Bucs to host Bears, Jaguars to face Titans as scheduled

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After Irma, Bucs to host Bears as scheduled; no decision yet on Titans at Jaguars

The Buccaneers will host the Bears on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, as originally scheduled, the decision announced Tuesday only days after Hurricane Irma made its way up the Florida peninsula.

The Bucs, in consultation with the NFL and Tampa Stadium Authority, made the decision after an assessment of the team's home stadium, which suffered no significant damage from Irma.

The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET.

“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.” Buccaneers COO Brian Ford said in a 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 game will mark Tampa Bay’s 2017 opener and the third straight season the Buccs have played host to the Bears, including last season’s 36-10 Tampa Bay victory.

According to the Bucs, there are a limited number of tickets still available for the game.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars, who opted to remain in Houston after their season-opening win over the Texans, returned home Tuesday morning and later announced they would host the Titans in their scheduled Week 2 game Sunday.

The Jags' situation differed from the Bucs' because Jacksonville is dealing with "record storm surge and immense flooding," CNN reported. Much of downtown Jacksonville, including the area around EverBank Field, was still underwater as of Tuesday morning.

As part of the announcement, Jags president Mark Lamping said the team will donate 5,000 tickets for the game to first responders and local residents affected by Hurricane Irma.

In Miami, Dolphins CEO Garfinkel said the team's Hard Rock Stadium "experienced no structural damage" from Irma. Miami, whose home opener Sunday against the Bucs, was postponed until Nov. 19, isn't scheduled to play again at home until Oct. 1 against the Saints.



The Dolphins expect the Toledo-Miami (Fla.) college game, the next scheduled for Hard Rock Stadium, on Sept. 23, to go on as scheduled.