Posted with permission from AFP
The NFL said in a statement the approach of Hurricane Irma had forced the game at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium to be axed on safety grounds GETTY/AFP/File / Mike Ehrmann

The National Football League on Tuesday called off this weekend's clash between the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as another major hurricane barreled towards the United States.

The NFL said in a statement the approach of Hurricane Irma had forced the game at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday to be axed on safety grounds.

It has not been decided whether the game will be played elsewhere at a neutral venue on Sunday or in Miami at a later date in the season.

"In the interest of public safety in light of the current state of emergency, the NFL, in consultation with state and local officials as well as both clubs, has decided that playing an NFL game in South Florida this week is not appropriate," the NFL said in a statement.

"The league will continue to examine other options, including playing the game this Sunday at a neutral site or in Miami later this season, and will provide an update on that decision as soon as possible."

Reports earlier said one option being considered was to push the game to week 11, when both teams are scheduled for a bye week.

However that would mean players being forced to play 16 straight weeks without a rest, something the league and players union are unenthusiastic about.

The Dolphins have been required to move games before because of weather events.

In 2004 a game against the Titans was shifted to a Saturday because of Hurricane Ivan while in 2005 a fixture with the Chiefs was switched to a Friday because of the threat of Hurricane Wilma.