WINNIPEG, Manitoba (WBAY) - Game on... sort of.
The Green Bay Packers are playing the Oakland Raiders on an 80-yard field with only 33 players, including all of their regular starters, sitting out the game.
No, this wasn't some metric conversion for playing in Canada. The problem was the turf in the end zones.
Packers and Oakland Raiders team officials were inspecting patches of turf in the end zones at IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba, ahead of Thursday night’s preseason game between the two teams -- the first NFL game to be played in western Canada.
The turf was replaced after goal posts that are in place for Canadian Football League had to replaced. CFL goal posts are in the end zone, while NFL goal posts are anchored outside the end zone.
As Dave Schroeder reported, the patches in the end zone were loose. Crews reportedly glued the turf down.
With about an hour to kickoff, Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy told Action 2 Sports "We're playing," despite issues with the turf at both ends of the field. But with 24 minutes until game time, there were no players or coaches on the field, only Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, standing with other officials in one end zone, sticking his foot into a divot in the turf.
The game is played on an 80-yard field. The 10 yard lines are the end zones. The end zone lines are the end of the field.
In place of kickoffs, the ball is being placed at the 25-yard line... which is now the 15-yard line if you're keeping up.
In 2016, the Packers preseason game at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, was canceled after issues came up with paint and the turf at that stadium.
Gutekunst told our Dave Schroeder there was never any talk about canceling Thursday's game. He also said he wasn't upset about 33 players being benched, saying it's a chance to evaluate the "bottom of the roster" players with the roster cuts now 9 days away.
#Packers TV Network reporting no starters will play for the Packers tonight and they will play on a shortened field.— Chris Roth (@rothchris) August 22, 2019
#PACKERS brass is convening with officials as we speak to decide what to do. As I said earlier, Murphy told me they are playing. The question is whether the game will be altered at all to avoid patches of loose turf in the end zones— Dave Schroeder (@SchroederWBAY) August 22, 2019
#PACKERS president Mark Murphy just told me “We’re playing.” Despite turf issues where they had to move CFL goal posts back in Winnipeg, it’s game on tonight in Canada— Dave Schroeder (@SchroederWBAY) August 22, 2019
DON'T USE HEAT to dry the glue. That was the problem at the HOF game in 2016, they used heaters to dry the paint and wound up melting the plastic and rubber in the turf, and then it hardened.....oops! https://t.co/Zb7QW4GypS— Chris Roth (@rothchris) August 22, 2019