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Soldier Field grass covered by tarp until two hours before kickoff

Chicago area saw heavy rain Saturday night

Chicago – Soldier Field in Chicago remained covered by a blue tarp until two hours and 20 minutes prior to kickoff between the New Orleans Saints and the Bears, when stadium workers began to remove the covering that protected the entire playing surface and much of the sideline that players and coaches will occupy.

As forecast, heavy rain pelted the area Saturday night into Sunday morning, though the field was protected by the tarp. The rain ceased early Sunday, with a decreased chance (10 percent) the rest of the day.

In addition to the tarp, blowers were used underneath it in an effort to ensure dryness in case of any seepage.

The immediate effect was that players from both teams, who ordinarily would've begun on-field pregame routines as early as three hours prior to kickoff, were left to wait until the protective cover could be removed. As of 9:50 a.m. CST, about half the field had been uncovered.

Despite the tarp, there was an expectation that the condition of the field would deteriorate as the game progressed.

The Saints (4-0) are attempting to win their first five games for the first time since the 2009 season, while the Bears (3-1) fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week.

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