The New England Patriots' opening night loss against the Kansas City Chiefs has resulted in some first consequences – but not (yet) for any of the players involved in the 42-27 prime time debacle: Yesterday, according to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, the team has started to replace the synthetic turf it had originally installed at Gillette Stadium back in May.
While it reportedly met all standards set by the NFL and the MLS – the Patriots share the field with soccer's New England Revolution –, the turf did not meet the ones set by the team. Over the course of the last months, three total games and one practice were held on the surface and players complained about the quality of the turf. It being too soft was the main point of the criticism.
The synthetic FieldTurf is used in four NFL stadiums besides Foxboro's: The Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks all have the same surface installed at their respective stadiums. Furthermore, more than one third of the NFL's franchises use the playing surface at their practice facilities.
Whether or not the team will ultimately stay on that list or forgo the synthetic turf it has used since the 2006 season – when the surface was also replaced mid-season – remains to be seen. What we do know is that the new turf will see its first test on September 23, when the Revolution host Toronto. One day later, the Patriots play their next home game against the Houston Texans.