During Saturday’s preseason game between the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs, many made note that the field was not up to the usual NFL standards. With missing patches of grass and divots in the field, NFL Players Association president JC Tretter questioned how the conditions were acceptable for a game.
Tretter went on Twitter to share his thoughts on the state of Soldier Field.
“The NFL said that this field met minimum testing standards. We clearly need to re-evaluate what is an acceptable surface for players to compete on,” he wrote. “We need new testing metrics looking at the performance and safety of every field. The NFL can and should do better.”
Tretter added a photo of the field in his tweet.
The game took place eight days after Elton John performed a concert at the venue, which caused the field issues.
The damaged field caused the Chicago Fire, the soccer team that also plays at Solider Field, to move their game “due to the expected field condition at Soldier Field from a series of planned events at the venue.”
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus did not criticize the field when asked about the conditions.
“I’m new here so I don’t know the situations, but I know the guys are trying to do their best, and the playing surface was passed by the NFL for us to be on,” he said (via ESPN). “I thought it was firm and it was good, so that’s where we’ll leave it at.”
Bears qarterback Justin Fields, however, did admit that the field could use some improvements. He noted that the field for the game, despite being visibly damaged, was better than it was on Tuesday.
“I mean, it’s kind of always been like that. It definitely was better than the family fest earlier this week,” Fields said. “I’m just glad it was better than it was earlier this week because it wasn’t the best. The grass could definitely be better for sure.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was not too impressed, either.
“A lot better than my high school field,” Reid said, before pausing and adding, “Not much.”
The turf being different than other fields means kicker Cairo Santos had to alter his offseason training, going to fields that mimic Solider Field rather than picking “perfect” turf fields.
He said the field is “just what we have to deal with.”