Chiefs’ Andy Reid Calls out Arizona for Turf Conditions, Cardinals Respond

Andy Reid

Getty Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during Week 1 of the 2022 season.

The Kansas City Chiefs came out of their Week 1 victory with a few injuries. Namely, kicker Harrison Butker is banged-up and first-round cornerback Trent McDuffie was moved to the injured reserve with a hamstring ailment.

According to head coach Andy Reid, these injuries were no coincidence. KC Star reporter Sam McDowell asked Big Red about the turf situation in Arizona and his response blasted the Cardinals for their field conditions.

“I mean listen, it was part of the Butker injury and the McDuffie injury,” Reid voiced. “Unfortunately, that was part of it. The turf picked up. I would tell you that did have something to do with it. If it didn’t, I’d tell you that too.”

Arizona Cardinals Fire Back via Pro Football Talk

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NBC Sports insider Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk chatted with Cardinals spokesman Mark Dalton over text after Reid’s comments.

Here was their reply: “The entire field was replaced on Monday, August 22nd — the day after the last home preseason game vs. Baltimore — so it had it almost three full weeks before the Week One game vs. Kansas City. That’s more than enough time for the Tifway Bermuda 419 hybrid sod to take root, especially in 109 degrees and abundant sunshine.”

Dalton continued: “The field at State Farm Stadium is routinely ranked among the best — if not THE best — among NFL players, including in surveys conducted by the NFLPA. Like all fields, the surface at State Farm Stadium undergoes the NFL’s required testing and certification process both before and after games. Sunday it not only met but exceeded those standards.”

Reid was critical of the turf’s looseness, in particular, which could have been due to the recent re-sodding of the field. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo hinted that the Chiefs were unhappy about this after the game.

“It was unfortunate, you know the play [McDuffie] got hurt on was kind of the grass gave — the turf was a little bit loose there and he pulled a hamstring,” Spags told the media.

Although there was some back and forth between the two parties, don’t expect this beef to continue past these remarks. The Cardinals and Chiefs have no history of rivalry and Coach Reid has already moved on to Thursday Night Football.

Next Man Up vs. Chargers

Without McDuffie, the Chiefs will likely rely on two other rookie cornerbacks, Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson. Either one or both should mix in with veteran starters L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton.

Watson appears to have the leg up, getting 33 defensive snaps in Week 1 according to Pro Football Focus. Williams on the other hand only registered 15.

Having said that, both performed very well in their Chiefs debut. Williams only allowed one reception (targeted twice) for a stingy two yards. That yielded a coverage grade of 76.8 and an overall grade of 76.3 — credited with one defensive stop as well.

Watson’s stats were eerily similar. He was also targeted twice, allowing one catch for six yards. His coverage grade was slightly lower than Williams’ at 70.4. His overall grade was 70.3.

As a whole, the revamped KC cornerback unit had a stellar performance against the Cardinals. McDuffie left the game without a target and Sneed finished with an elite coverage mark of 90.2. Fenton and Chris Lammons had the worst PFF scores of the group, but the pair only allowed 52 yards combined.

If Spagnuolo’s CBs can keep this up in 2022, this will be a scary defense in Kansas City.

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