Speculation and discourse centered around the potential impact of Hurricane Ian grew greater and greater over the course of the last week or so, even in the NFL world. The location of the Kansas City Chiefs' road matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was in serious question and in the days leading up to Week 4's outing, plenty of uncertainty remained. Early on Thursday afternoon, however, some clarity was provided.
Per the NFL, additionally reported by many including Adam Schefter of ESPN, Sunday night's Chiefs vs. Buccaneers game will remain in Florida at Raymond James Stadium as it was set up to be prior to Hurricane Ian's arrival. The Buccaneers, who have been practicing in the Miami Dolphins' facilities this week, will return home and host the Chiefs in their pivotal early-season matchup with a 7:20 p.m. CST kickoff.
The Buccaneers released a statement on their website announcing the news, expressing condolences to those impacted by Hurricane Ian and further explaining the decision to keep the game at home. Here's a large part of it:
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the many thousands in the Southwest Florida region who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Ian. We are also very thankful that the Tampa Bay area was spared the most damaging consequences of this powerful storm. We have informed the NFL, after consulting with local and state agencies, that we are ready to play Sunday night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium as originally scheduled.
We would like to thank all of the local government agencies and the thousands of emergency personnel who worked tirelessly over the past few days to ensure that our area would be ready to respond if needed. We would also like to acknowledge the Miami Dolphins organization for their assistance and hospitality in allowing us to use their practice facilities this week.
To close out the statement, the Buccaneers thanked first responders and local emergency personnel for their assistance during this time. Tampa Bay says it will have more information on potential options to help those impacted by the storm in the near future.