Bears players have voiced concerns about the dangers of playing Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium, but they’re preparing to do so just the same.
‘‘If you’re going to preach player safety, you would think they would put you in the best conditions to be safe,” Bears safety Chris Harris said. “I don’t think an icy field is the best conditions.”
Barring something unforeseen, the league and the Vikings plan to play the game originally scheduled for the Metrodome at the stadium used by the University of Minnesota football team. TCF Bank Stadium, however, was winterized after the Golden Gophers’ season ended and does not have coils beneath the artificial turf that would prevent the field from freezing.
Groundskeepers from the Bears and Vikings are working together to prepare the surface with input from league and university officials as well as representatives from the stadium’s turf manufacturer.
As soon as about five feet of snow is completely removed from the playing surface, which officials said would be completed by noon today, heaters will be used to warm the field. A thermal tarp will cover it until game time. The St. Paul Pioneer Press has reported that chemicals also will be used to thaw the turf.