UPDATE (Tuesday, 5:12 p.m.): The Jaguars and Mayor Lenny Curry announced the team will host the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field Sunday as scheduled. The team plans to donate 5,000 tickets to first responders in the area. Owner Shad Khan has pledged $1 million to Florida's First Coast Relief Fund.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars' weekly schedule was altered by Hurricane Irma's path and now the team's home opener could follow suit.
The Jaguars are set to host the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field in Downtown Jacksonville Sunday. The Week 2 matchup serves as the Jaguars' only "true" home game in the first five weeks of the season.
However, due to flooding in the area, the NFL could potentially move or postpone the game. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone acknowledged the possibility in a conference call with local media Monday.
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"I just said we’ll take it step-by-step," Marrone said. "The first step right now is to make sure our families are fine, the second step is to make sure we can get back to Jacksonville. The next step is where the stadium is, as far as where our work is going to be done and then the next step, I would believe, is if the stadium is safe and things of that nature."
Despite some heavy flooding following Irma's arrival on the First Coast, the streets were mostly cleared around the stadium by early Tuesday morning.
Jacksonville, we're coming home. pic.twitter.com/ruTfdFXOBv— #Sacksonville (@Jaguars) September 12, 2017
While the path to the stadium may not be an issue, the actual facility needs to be evaluated from an operational aspect.
"The only thing I know is that people will be checking on the stadium," Marrone said. "People will be checking on the fields, they’re going to get back to us some time today just to give us a report to where everything is at so we kind of get a little bit of a heads up or a feel of what we’re coming back to when we come back to Jacksonville.”
The team is set to return to Jacksonville Tuesday afternoon and players will receive their normal day off. The Jaguars will resume practice Wednesday.
The new indoor facility outside of Daily's Place could be used if the practice fields suffered any damage from the storm.
The team worked out at a Houston area YMCA on Monday following the Week 1 win over the Texans.
"We looked for things that were close to the hotel for the players so the YMCA was large enough to take our team," Marrone said.
"[Texans head coach Bill O'Brien] had offered, whatever we need, but I looked at their schedule and knew they were playing on Thursday. I knew it was going to be a hectic day for them in trying to get ready for a game on Thursday [against the Cincinnati Bengals]. I just thought it was easier for us to make arrangements on our own and not be a distraction for ourselves being there."
The Jaguars have dealt with numerous changes to their schedule over the last few days and will probably experience more in the days to come.
The NFL could potentially swap home games for the Jaguars and the Titans if EverBank Field isn't ready to host a game this weekend. The league could also decide to postpone the game until October 29, when both teams have bye weekends.
The main issue for moving the game to the bye week is that the stadium will be used to host the annual Florida-Georgia matchup on October 28. That may be too quick of a turnaround for the operations crew.
Both options would put the Jaguars at a disadvantage. However, as Marrone alluded to, the team will cooperate with the league and play the hand they are inevitably dealt.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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