The Green Bay Packers visit the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for their second preseason game on Saturday, a scenario that would not have happened during the early years of McCarthy’s tenure.
McCarthy hated the idea of playing preseason games on the plastic stuff, worried about losing a player to injury on the artificial grass in a game that wasn’t counted in the standings.
Green Bay, however, plays two of its three road games in the NFC North on field turf—at Minnesota and Detroit—and McCarthy says he now would rather get some indoor experience in August.
“Really what I’ve learned is it’s been good to go down and play St. Louis because obviously you have to go to Minnesota—you used to—and then obviously in Detroit,” McCarthy told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I think it’s good that we get inside for one game and obviously the other three are grass.”
Younger players are already fairly well adapted to playing on field turf—most major college fields have been converted for a long time.
Almost half of the stadiums in the NFL are equipped with turf fields, as well.
The Pack’s annual Minnesota trip will be a bit different this year. For the first time since 1981, the Packers and Vikings will play in Minnesota outdoors as the Vikings are playing at the University of Minnesota’s TD Bank Stadium while their new stadium is being built on the site of the old Metrodome.
The last time the Packers and Vikings played a game in the great Minnesota outdoors was Nov. 29, 1981, at old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn.
Minnesota’s Tommy Kramer threw for 384 yards put was picked off five times and the Packers held the Vikings to just 28 yards on the ground.