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The field itself, which is made of Kentucky Bluegrass, appeared to have divots all over it, which reporters on-scene said were being filled just minutes before the game started as an attempt to even the playing field (literally).
This is a bad look for the Bears, as they should hold a higher standard for a field that their world-class athletes play on. This is also a bad look for the NFL, who should require higher standards for their teams’ field conditions.
That’s why the NFLPA President called the league out during the game to make a rule change.
Tretter Calls Out NFL For Soldier Field Conditions
Longtime Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA president J.C. Tretter issued his remarks on Twitter regarding the field conditions at Soldier Field for the Chiefs/Bears game.
“The NFL said that this field met minimum testing standards,” Tretter 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.”
Other Twitter users also chimed into the conversation.
“Exhibit A why building a stadium in Arlington Heights is a must. Chicago Park District’s handling of the field is terrible and has been for years,” one Twitter user wrote.
“This is an owner issue just as much as the league. Owners trying to save a few pennies by not paying to have grounds free treat and manage the field all off season and pre season. It’s a joke,” Royal founder Nait Jones wrote.
“The Chicago Park District maintains Soldier Field,” Andrew Mason of 1043 The Fan wrote. “And people wonder why the Bears want to head to Arlington Heights. (Well, we can all agree that revenue is the biggest factor.) But the Bears’ field has been problematic for many years now.”
Chiefs Lose to Bears in Preseason Opener
Field conditions aside, the Chiefs lost to the Bears 19-14 on the road in their preseason opener.
Kansas City’s offensive starters played one series together. That drive consisted of 11 plays, 72 yards, and a touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to veteran tight end Blake Bell from five yards out.
On that drive, Mahomes completed 6-of-7 pass attempts for 60 yards and the touchdown. Each of his completions went to a different pass-catcher (Michael Burton, Mecole Hardman, Travis Kelce, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Isiah Pacheco, and Bell). Mahomes was pulled from the lineup after that series and was replaced by veteran Chad Henne, who continued to play with the offensive starters.
The leading receiver for the Chiefs was Justin Watson, who caught 5 passes for 45 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass from QB Shane Buechele just before halftime.
Rookie linebacker Leo Chenal, one of Kansas City’s third-round picks, led the Chiefs in tackles (6) and tackles for loss (2). He played deep into the fourth quarter and was wearing the green dot for the defense late in the second half.
Next up for the Chiefs on their preseason schedule is a game against the Washington Commanders at Arrowhead Stadium at 3:25 p.m. CST on August 20.