The 2016 Hall of Fame Game, the first preseason game of the year, isn’t the most exciting NFL game all season, but it was the first, and it was football that fans had been looking forward to for 7 months.
The game that featured the Green Bay Packers against the Indianapolis Colts has now been canceled as of 7:00 ET after players expressed concerns regarding the playing surface at Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
According to Bleacher Report, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the news, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter later confirmed the NFL’s decision to cancel Sunday’s game.
Both organizations very concerned about playing surface and there are real questions about whether tonight’s game will be played.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 7, 2016
Earlier Sunday, Schefter noted the game was in doubt, as players believed the field was “unsafe” and as “hard as concrete” in spots.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 7, 2016
Field Turf melted on parts of logo, it’s like rubber, big concern cleats will stick there, major player safety issue pic.twitter.com/VT6Y1UcYR1
— Pete Dougherty (@PeteDougherty) August 7, 2016
The playing surface in the end zones and middle of the field was at the center of the concern. Schefter reported the paint began to solidify as the day went along.
This is the second time in the game’s 54-year history that it has been canceled. The 2011 contest between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams was not played because of the lockout. Two other times (2003, 1980), the game has been called off midway through because of inclement weather.