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Bucs, Dolphins make contingency plans as Irma looms

When the season-opening game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins was moved to Week 11 due to safety concerns surrounding Hurricane Irma, it sent two franchises scrambling to handle the logistics of continuing their season.

Obviously, nothing is more important than the human element of concern for the damage caused by the impending hurricane. But as far as football games, there are plenty of adjustments that have been made.

For the Dolphins, players are expected back on Tuesday, but not in South Florida. Instead, with Week 2 against the Chargers in the Los Angeles area, Dolphins players will meet in Oxnard, California. Some players will come in earlier, but there is a team meeting Tuesday and practice on Wednesday.

Both the Rams and Cowboys helped, with the Rams offering their facility. Instead, they'll use the same digs as the Cowboys do during training camp.

Owner Stephen Ross spared no expense in attempting to make it as if the team had a regular week. He flew the players, coaches and traveling staff to the Los Angeles area on Friday night, sources said.

When appropriate, the family members will fly back home.

As for the Bucs, they chartered four small planes for football and business-side from Tampa Bay to Charlotte on Saturday for anyone who wanted to get out of the area with a change in the foreceast map. They will also assist with shelter and housing for those still in the area.

The players were released last Wednesday, have Monday off, and are expected back this Tuesday. To learn if there are any changes, team officials will have to see what the facility looks like after the hurricane passes late Monday morning.

Both teams will have to play 16 games in a row, but it's pretty clear both coaches won't let that be a talking point. Miami coach Adam Gase will make sure players shrug it off, while Bucs coach Dirk Koetter made the point that not having a bye will only actually affect them in Week 11.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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