After a few hours of poking, prodding, and kicking at some holes in the IG Field turf this evening, the Green Bay Packers’ preseason game against the Oakland Raiders will go on as scheduled. However, this contest will go off with a few notable changes to the original plan.
The field is under scrutiny because of issues with the conversion from Canadian football dimensions to an American football field. CFL fields are longer, but have the goal posts near the front of the end zone, and moving the posts back has left some holes that were not sufficiently filled in prior to game time. As a result, the teams and officials met throughout the pregame warmup period to decide what to do.
The game will happen, but evidently the teams have agreed to play on a shortened field. That will allow for the problematic end zones to be out of the field of play.
However, the Packers are taking no chances with their key players. According to the Packers’ TV broadcast, the team will hold all of their starters out of tonight’s game, a decision that the team made official in an announcement a few minutes later. This effectively quashes any hope that fans of the team may have had of seeing Aaron Rodgers in action during the preseason, as starters almost never play in the fourth and final preseason game. In fact, head coach Matt LaFleur had been planning to play his starters for the first half tonight, and Rodgers even warmed up in full pads prior to the contest.
Instead, fans in Winnipeg will be treated to a glorified fourth preseason game. This should give the Packers some additional opportunities to evaluate young players and those on the roster bubble, but it will rob the team of any chance to see the full starting units in action.
Stay tuned for more news out of Winnipeg.