Football is a complex, yet simple game. A lot of times, the difference between a win and a loss comes down how teams and players handle their business on game day.
But sometimes, said difference can be a result of something that is not in a player’s or team’s control.
As it turns out, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) avoided a major disaster involving one of their star players this past week.
And said disaster was something that was completely out of their control.
Per NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport, running back Leonard Fournette, the team’s No. 1 back, was literally hours away from missing the team flight to Munich, Germany to take on the Seattle Seahawks because he didn’t have his passport.
Fournette applied for a replacement passport, but it was delayed in the mail due to the severe weather that recently hit Florida. In turn, both Fournette and the team were worried he wouldn’t make the trip.
And, obviously, if he doesn’t make this trip, he’s not playing in the game.
Per Rapoport, the Buccaneers and Fournette worked throughout the week to remedy the situation and the passport arrived in the mail hours before the team departed for Germany.
The Buccaneers aren’t strangers to travel issues with starters. They went through a similar scare in 2021 when starting cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean had their flights delayed because of COVID-19 issues. Both players arrived in New York just a couple of hours before kickoff vs. the New York Jets. Fortunately, they got to MetLife Stadium in time to play.
The @Buccaneers CBs Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting—just activated from the COVID list— were set to fly privately to Newark this AM, but when the flight staff had COVID issues of their own, they were delayed and just landed, 2 hours before kickoff.” — @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/FJwMfz1TSO— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 2, 2022
The Buccaneers need all hands on deck if they want to beat the surging Seattle Seahawks (6-3), so it’s good to hear one of their best players wasn’t a victim of something completely out of his control.
You can check out Rapoport’s full column, here.
Featured image via Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports