Chiefs coach Andy Reid blamed the sod at State Farm Stadium for injuries to kicker Harrison Butker and defensive back Trent McDuffie. The Cardinals have responded.
“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,” Cardinals spokesman Mark Dalton told PFT via text message. “That’s more than enough time for the Tifway Bermuda 419 hybrid sod to take root, especially in 109 degrees and abundant sunshine.”
Reid attributed the looseness of the turf to the fact that the re-sodding had happened recently.
“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,” Dalton said. “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.”
The reality is that all sorts of fields that arguably shouldn’t be certified somehow are, including a Chicago swamp on Sunday.
McDuffie injured his hamstring while in pass coverage. Although it’s been reported as fact that McDuffie’s feet slipped out from under him, the video of the play doesn’t obviously show a slip and fall.
Butker suffered the injury while slipping during a kickoff. He has slipped at the end of his lengthy approach to kicking the ball from the tee, however. Multiple times.
Even though it will be multiple years before the Chiefs play there again in the regular season, they could be back in February for the biggest game of the year.