The San Francisco 49ers will be playing on a temporary new surface this Sunday when they host the San Diego Chargers. As socalisteph discussed on Thursday, the team is likely doing something similar to what the Rose Bowl did in 2007 for the BCS National Championship Game. It turns out, this situation is not even unique to this year.
Eric Branch is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles used a recently installed grass surface in their Thursday preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to Branch, the Eagles installed the new surface over the course of this past Sunday and Monday. It was a planned process due to three concerts and a pair of open practices.
While the 49ers did not plan for their own change of surface, this shows that the quick turnaround should not be a big issue. It is embarrassing that it happened and was discovered in this manner, but the temporary fix should be fine. This temporary option was endorsed by the general manager of the Rose Bowl, who said their own efforts worked for a five day turnaround, and would have been fine even in just three days.
It should be no surprise that the 49ers have assured the Chargers everything will be fine on Sunday. Aside from just the embarrassment of a poor field, the more important issue will always be player safety. Stevie Johnson and Bruce Ellington both were reported to have fallen due to the surface, but neither was injured because of it. The key is getting a solid surface in place for the short term, before it is fully replaced next week after the high school games.