Not so green grass of home

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders are hoping the condition of the grass field at Commonwealth Stadium doesn't become a key reason for a loss tonight.

But that could happen.

The usually lush green grass field is not in perfect condition.

Nine games from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup over the last three weeks have taken their toll on the playing surface.

"It's actually a combination: hard and soft/muddy in certain areas," said Eskimo kicker Sean Fleming on the field.

"I didn't think it would be as bad as it is.

"Footing is going to be a little difficult because certain parts of the field are hard, other areas are really, really soft and muddy."

Fleming is going to be changing his shoes tonight, hoping he doesn't have a problem when he tries field goals.

The last thing either team wants is a kicker slipping on a critical field-goal attempt.

On the flip side, Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia doesn't think the field will be that much of a factor tonight.

However, while the Eskimos held their walk-through practice on the Commonwealth Stadium grass yesterday - partly to get a feel for the surface - it was clear to see other problems in the south end zone.

Due to signs on the field during the FIFA games, there are six-inch strips in the end zone that are deeper than the rest of the surface - some featuring dead grass.

The green spray paint was out yesterday, with the grounds crew trying to fill in the holes.

"The good thing (is) we will have two weeks after this game to let it (the field) grow," continued Fleming.

"Usually it is pretty thick and a pretty nice field.

"It is not (in) very good shape right now."


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