The NFL announced on Wednesday that it was postponing the Miami Dolphins-Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 1 game in Miami due to Hurricane Irma.
The league initially considered moving the game to a neutral site, but ultimately decided to postpone it and reschedule for November 19.
The postponement and movement of the game to Week 11 means both teams, which happened to share the same bye week, will lose their bye and have to play 16 straight games.
It won’t be the first time teams have had a Week 1 bye and byes did not exist prior to 1990, however, players are not happy about it.
Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry said losing the bye week will cause players to miss the chance to heal mid-season (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald).
“Listen, it’s a long season. Let’s be honest about it. It’s a long season, and I think the stretch after our bye week is probably one of the toughest… That bye week will give us an opportunity to kind of get some guys healthy. In this NFL, in the league, you’re going to get banged up week in, week out.
“For us, that bye week, it comes at an appropriate time. For us, to keep it there would be huge; but I know there are unfortunate situations and it’s out of our hands and it’s up to the NFL and the teams to decide what happens; but we could use that bye at that time.”
Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler said it’s “tough” to play without a bye:
“It would be tough,” Cutler said. “Guys kind of need that bye week to get healthy and push through the second half of the season. This is the latest bye week I ever had. It’s not an ideal situation not to have a bye for us.”
Likewise, prior to the official postponement, Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell said he was hoping it would not get postponed.
“I don’t like that possibility, just being honest. I like my bye week. For the most part, your body needs it. Especially with the brutal NFL season. It’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint.”
Bucs defensive tackle Chris Baker was a bit more straight to the point.
— Chris Baker (@cbakerswaggy) September 6, 2017
The Dolphins in particular will have a tough schedule without that bye week.
In Week 4, they play against the Saints in London, then travel back home to play the Tennessee Titans the following Sunday. They have a short week from Weeks 7 to 8, as they play on Thursday on Week 8. While they stay on the East coast from Weeks 8 to 10, they lose the bye week in Week 11, as they make up the postponed Week 2 game, then play a final stretch of games that includes the New England Patriots twice, the Denver Broncos, and the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s a tough schedule for a team already missing its starting quarterback.
According to CBS, since the introduction of bye weeks, five teams have had to play 16 games in a row – none of them finished with winning records. While that does not all necessarily result from having to play without a mid-season bye, it also doesn’t set a promising standard for the Bucs and Dolphins.