It's no secret – the Buccaneers would have liked to have played their first regular season game this Sunday and take a break from action during Week 11, which was scheduled to be the team's bye week. But that won't be the case.
The NFL announced on Wednesday that Tampa Bay's regular season opener has been rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma working her way towards Florida. The Buccaneers and Dolphins will now meet in Week 11 and as a result, both teams will be required to play all 16 of their regular seasons in consecutive weeks.
It's a challenge, but Jameis Winston is embracing the circumstances as only he would.
"We get five days off," Winston said with a smile. "It's a blessing in disguise."
This week will essentially act as a bye week. The Buccaneers' players are scheduled to be off on Thursday, Friday and Monday and will return to practice on Tuesday, weather permitting.
For many of the Bucs' starters, that means an extended period way from the field. More than 30 Buccaneers sat out of the team's preseason finale and some didn't play in Week 3. There is certainly a concern that Tampa Bay's starters could be rusty when they kick off the regular season against Chicago, but that's not something that Winston and the Buccaneers are thinking about.
](http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-smith/History-Suggests-New-Schedule-is-Manageable/b0f0cb3c-1769-47f0-aee1-dfcf4c56c83e)"We've got to control what we can control," Winston said. "Of course, we were all excited and wanted to play and see how we would do. But safety is the most important thing – taking care of our families is very important right now."
"We've just got to man up and play."