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Chargers Ready for 49ers Despite Levi's Stadium Turf Problems

Chargers defensive coordinator said there's been no discussion about the field conditions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7's Jim Laslavic reports on the turf problem at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco just days before the preseason game for 49ers and Chargers. Bolts coaches say there's been no discussion about the condition of the turf. (Published Friday, Aug 22, 2014)

    Ground crews at Levi's Stadium are working feverishly to replace the damaged field in time for the 49ers preseason game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

    The turf at the new stadium was in bad enough shape on Wednesday for 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh to cut practice short for safety reasons because players were falling while trying to run their routes.

    San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy said he expects a normal pregame routine Sunday.

    “It’s no different than any other game we’re playing,” McCoy said Thursday.

    Defensive coordinator John Pagano said there's been no discussion about the field conditions.

    “Any type of new surface you’re going to want to bring enough amount of cleats to check the surface. We’ll do that before the game,” Pagano said.

    Several fans noticed an issue with the field on Sunday when the 49ers hosted the Denver Broncos.

    Season ticket holder Carol Rossi said she could see grass and divets flying from players' heels during the game.

    "The grass would actually come up and they had people from the stadium going in there and putting their foot down, grass back in place," Rossi said.

    In April, 49ers head groundskeeper Matt Greiner said he had high hopes for the bandera grass during an interview with NBC Bay Area.

    "What we found is that the bandera can recover a little quicker," Greiner said at the time. "It keeps its color a little longer into the season and its lateral growth so the rise that make the network, the cleat plants in really holds up nicely through wear and traffic."

    The grass was supposed to withstand the wear and tear of the entire season, but after just a couple of games the 2.5-acres of grass has become an issue.

    Crews spent Thursday ripping out the field. Fans are worried and skeptical that the grass will be ready in time for Sunday's game.

    "I think they should move the game to another field," Rossi said. "Hopefully no one gets injured."

    The 49ers on Thursday declined to comment on the turf, but said in a statement they are looking forward to hosting the Chargers on Sunday, and that appropriate steps are being taken.