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Wind, rain could accompany Eagles to Tampa on Sunday

The initial weekend forecast calls for rain right around kickoff at Raymond James Stadium.
Sunday's forecast calls for rain, and perhaps some thunderstorms, right around kickoff of the Bucs' 1 p.m. playoff game against the Eagles at Raymond James Stadium.
Sunday's forecast calls for rain, and perhaps some thunderstorms, right around kickoff of the Bucs' 1 p.m. playoff game against the Eagles at Raymond James Stadium.
Published Jan. 12
Updated Jan. 13

Because the Bucs earned the right to open the playoffs at home, wind chills aren’t a factor this weekend. But wind gusts might be.

Suddenly, the weather report is shaping up to be nearly as significant as the injury report when the Bucs host the Eagles on Sunday. A looming cold front almost certainly will be preceded by rain and perhaps thunderstorms, possibly during the game, which kicks off at 1 p.m.

As a result, temperatures are expected to start in the 70s and dip from there. Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday that weather shouldn’t affect the contest unless wind comes into play.

“Depends what kind of wind it is,” he added. “Is it direct? Is it across the field? How bad are the gusts? Those things do affect it, but that’s one thing about Tom (Brady), he’s played in a bunch of bad weather and a lot colder, so at least it will be in the 70s.”

Meteorologically, the Bucs have been blessed this season, having avoided rain since the Oct. 3 game in New England. Brady finished 22 of 43 for 269 yards with no picks that emotional night, engineering a 45-yard field-goal drive late in the fourth quarter in a 19-17 triumph.

“If the rain is really bad, then obviously it affects the receiver position the most,” veteran Bucs wideout Mike Evans said.

“(Defensive backs) start getting happy, because it’s hard to catch a ball wide-open in the rain if it’s really bad. But we’re professionals; I mean, we play in Tampa. I’ve been here for a long time now, so you’ve just got to have the right gloves on or go bare hands and try to make the play.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

Related: Cyril Grayson, Ronald Jones 'doubtful' for Sunday, Bruce Arians says

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