The Chicago Bears defeated the Kansas City Chiefs by a final score of 19-14 in their preseason opener. However, Chicago’s field was in rather questionable condition. Soldier Field’s condition even led the NFL Players Association president to blast the situation, per sanluisobispo.com.
“The NFL said that this field met minimum testing standards,” he wrote. “We clearly need to re-evaluate what is an acceptable surface for players to compete on. We need new testing metrics looking at the performance and safety of every field. The NFL can and should do better.”
Bears players react to Soldier Field’s condition
Some of the Bears players spoke out on the field’s condition as well. Quarterback Justin Fields said he’s tried to use the field to his advantage, per Yahoo Sports.
“To be honest, last year I used our home field to an advantage because I knew how our grass was,” Justin Fields said. “I knew other teams didn’t know how it was, so I kind of used it to my advantage in running and stuff like that, using the long spikes and stuff like that.”
Bears kicker Cairo Santos shared a brutally honest opinion, via Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It’s reckless that we have…big-time players on both teams out there, and it’s too bad if the field becomes an issue where there’s an injury and that star is out for the season… It’s a reckless thing that they’re not taking care of it. It’s better for me to just accept it & learn how to overcome it, which is what I’ve done, versus whining and making excuses about it… It hasn’t been something that’s concerned me… I don’t think that field could cause me to miss kicks.”
The Soldier Field grass unfortunately stole headlines from the Bears win. The team needs to improve the conditions if they want to avoid similar storylines occurring in the future.