11 Sep, 2017
MIAMI (AP) A possible tornado was reported near the Miami Dolphins' stadium during Hurricane Irma, and structural engineers will inspect the complex for potential damage, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.
The person confirmed the planned inspection to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins had not commented on the condition of the stadium. The team's complex in Davie, Florida appears to be fine in the wake of the storm, the person said.
The condition of NFL stadiums in Tampa and Jacksonville were yet to be determined as well, the NFL said.
Marlins Park was also being assessed, another person said. Photos posted on social meeting showed possible storm damage to the outer facade of the retractable roof.
The Dolphins will open their season Sunday at the Los Angeles Chargers. The Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been scheduled to open their seasons this past Sunday, but that game was postponed until Nov. 19 because of Irma.
The NFL is not close to making a decision regarding this week's games, said Joe Lockhart, the league's senior vice president of communications. On Sunday, Tampa Bay's delayed season opener is scheduled at home against the Chicago Bears, and Jacksonville has its home opener against the Tennessee Titans.
''We're having a different conversation than we thought on Friday,'' Lockhart said. ''Miami and Tampa Bay received less than expected, and Jacksonville probably received more. ... Looking at Jacksonville and Tampa, we don't have any definite word. We're still doing assessments. We hope to have something in next few days.''
The Dolphins evacuated from South Florida before the storm's arrival and will practice in Oxnard, California, this week to prepare for their delayed start of the season. The Dolphins will have a team meeting Tuesday and will practice beginning Wednesday at the Dallas Cowboys' complex.
The Dolphins' first home game is now scheduled for Oct. 8 against Tennessee. Their stadium has a 1-year-old canopy designed to withstand a Category 4 hurricane.
The Marlins begin a three-game series in Philadelphia in Tuesday, and are scheduled to return home Friday to face Milwaukee.
AP Sports Writer Barry Wilner in New York contributed to this report.
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By STEVEN WINE