As everyone knows, the Indianapolis Colts were supposed to play a game on Sunday that didn’t happen. The Hall of Fame game between the Colts and the Packers was scheduled for Sunday, but the field conditions prevented the game from being played.
Basically, the wrong paint was used on the field that made the surface utterly unplayable, as it melted and made the surface dangerous for players. For instance, a cleat could easily get stuck in it, which obviously would not be good, and the surface was so hard that some described it as being like plastic. The players were adamantly against playing on the field, and the teams agreed. There was a discussion at midfield featuring personnel from the Packers and Colts, as well as Hall of Fame president David Baker, and Colts GM Ryan Grigson didn’t appear too pleased. In the end, the only logical solution was to cancel the game.
It sucked for the fans and for some of the players looking for a shot, but it was absolutely the right call - something Colts head coach Chuck Pagano echoed in his press conference this morning.
“Obviously we’re disappointed because we lost out on an opportunity to play a great organization, a great team in the Packers, and to see our team play in a game situation, to see our young guys play,” Pagano said. “Disappointed for our fans. All the fans that went to great lengths to make the trip to go there, so we’re disappointed for that. We had a bunch of players, obviously young players, with family that traveled, some further than others. So we’re disappointed for them, but at the end of the day the decision that was made was the right decision. Player safety is paramount, as we know. So we’ve moved on from that, back to practice.”
The Colts didn’t practice yesterday (a scheduled off-day all along) because the CBA mandates that there be a day off for travel, so the team is simply abiding by the rules as they get back on the practice field today.
Pagano is right: it is unfortunate for all of the fans who traveled to the game, but the right decision was absolutely made to cancel the game for the good of the players. And don’t feel too bad for the players: they’ll still have just as many games as every other team in the NFL and every other undrafted rookie in the NFL to make an impression, as the Colts still have four preseason games left. Furthermore, the Colts actually gained an extra week (or at least a few days) of practice because they were scheduled to play in the Hall of Fame game, so while it is unfortunate for the fans and while it does stink to have to wait a little longer to see these players, in the end it’s not a big deal for the Colts. It’s a big black eye for the NFL, but it won’t really have a huge impact on the Colts moving forward. As Pagano said, they’ve already moved on.