EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Temperatures in Philadelphia are expected to hover around the mid- to upper-30s Sunday night when the NFC Championship Game kicks off at Lincoln Financial Field.
After sloppy field conditions during last weekend’s divisional round caused receivers to slip, the Vikings are making sure they’re prepared for what could be a rough night on grass.
Mike Zimmer showed players film Wednesday of all the slippage that occurred in the Falcons-Eagles game, including Atlanta’s final play to score the go-ahead touchdown at the goal line.
On fourth down with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter, Falcons receiver Julio Jones slipped in the end zone and fell down. Jones recovered, and quarterback Matt Ryan went to him on a second attempt, but the receiver mistimed his reaction to the throw and the ball sailed through his hands.
The Vikings are used to playing outdoors in similar field conditions every year in Chicago and Green Bay and have multiple options of cleats they could wear. Defensive end Everson Griffen said he may experiment with seven-stud cleats. Testing the playing surface pregame will help determine the length of the needed cleat.
“If it’s to the point where you’re slipping and you go out for pregame warmups and you don’t feel comfortable with the normal cleats then yeah, you definitely have that option to have the longer cleat,” Adam Thielen said.
Added Stefon Diggs: “It’s not really a worry for mine. Our coach told us to check our cleats before the game and you better be ready to go.”
Vikings quarterback Case Keenum has an 88.7 passer rating outdoors this season compared to 105.1 in a dome, according to Pro Football Reference.