Bears will stick with natural grass at Soldier Field

One by one, prominent players for the Chicago Bears stepped up and took their turn ripping the Soldier Field playing surface last season.

Brian Urlacher teed off on it. Jay Cutler provided his two cents. Julius Peppers blamed shoddy footing for costing him a few sacks.

Get used to it. Team president Ted Phillips told Dan Pompei no changes are coming. The Bears will continue to play on a natural grass surface and there are no plans to replace it with one of the popular infill playing surfaces.

“We won't do that,” Phillips said. “We've had great success at Soldier Field in December and January. The grass field there will never be top-notch late in the season, but it's more of a perception issue than a real negative issue. The players know how to play on it, and frankly, it's been part of our home-field advantage. If the time ever comes that the technology gives us an infill surface that plays like grass, and more importantly the studies about lower-extremity injuries show there are not quite the discrepancies that they show now, we'll consider making a switch at that time. I don't know that time will ever come.

“I admit there is no completely conclusive study that's been done, but the tendency in the studies I've seen is that there is too high of an incidence of ankle and knee injuries on infill surfaces versus grass. We have too many millions of dollars tied up in our players to risk that right now.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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