49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 9, 2013
Conditions at Candlestick: grass is thin but footing is stable

CundiffStick.jpg

Longsnapper Brian Jennings confirmed what a few photos taken at Candlestick Park earlier this week seemed to suggest: the playing surface for Saturday's game looks a bit bedraggled.

"The footing's good, but the grass is a little thin," said Jennings, who was there on Monday to help new kicker Billy Cundiff acclimate to the new stadium. Cundiff had never set foot inside Candlestick until Monday.

As was the case last season, the 49ers resurfaced the field late in the year. According to Jennings, the team already has played two games on the new grass - vs. Miami on Dec. 9 and vs. Arizona Dec. 30. Jennings noted there was a lot of rain in the month of December and that tarps on the field may have diminished the grass somewhat.

Said Jim Harbaugh of the conditions: "I thought it was ok, yeah. It's not like it is in September. Most grass fields tend not to be as lush in the winter months."

The conditions at Candlestick Park have come under scrutiny after pictures of Cundiff's Monday session appeared on social media and showed more dirt than blades of grass. Poor field conditions at FedEx Field on Sunday are believed to have claimed at least one victim, Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons, who suffered an ACL tear and was placed on injured reserve.

The forecast for Saturday calls for mostly cloudy skies, temperatures around 50 degrees but little chance of rain.

As far as the team's kicking competition, Harbaugh said he wasn't ready to announce who will kick against the Packers, Cundiff or David Akers. He said it's "conceivable" the team wouldn't reveal the winner until 90 minutes before kickoff when the inactive lists are announced.

- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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