The Bears have played plenty of cold-weather games during their years in Chicago, but Sunday’s game against the Packers may be the coldest game ever played at Soldier Field.
The latest forecast calls for a temperature of 1 degree below zero on Sunday at noon Central time, when the Bears are kicking off against the Packers. The Bears say they’ve been tracking kickoff temperatures since 1963, and the coldest kickoff time on record was 2 degrees on December 22, 2008, for another game against the Packers. So if the forecasts are correct, Sunday’s game will be the coldest ever seen in Chicago.
That could be bad news for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been dealing with calf and hamstring injuries. In cold weather, it’s harder to keep muscles loose, and with Rodgers already not moving at 100 percent, his mobility could be limited.
Where it could be good news for the Packers, however, is in the stands: The Bears are already playing in front of plenty of empty seats as they struggle through a lousy season. With subzero temperatures on Sunday, Chicagoans may decide to watch the game from the comfort of home, and the Bears may not have any home-field advantage. The cold, in fact, may disadvantage both teams equally.