Denver Broncos may need to boycott first preseason game

Arizona Cardinals brutal field conditions should not be tolerated by the Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

There's really no precedence for this, and it's unlikely to happen, but the Denver Broncos should consider boycotting their preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals. You're all probably wondering why.

The short answer to that very important question is that the Cardinals' field conditions at State Farm Stadium are unacceptable and dangerous to the players. The warning signs are already out there that the Broncos should avoid letting their players go out there, using any means necessary.

The Denver Broncos used to play against the Raiders on a field that was shared by both the Raiders and the Oakland Athletics, at the time. I couldn't help but cringe anytime they played there and I certainly couldn't imagine the Raiders playing every single home game there. The Cardinals' field here in the video shown above is looking a little bit too much like it's trying to be a baseball infield and not enough like a legitimate football field.

The conditions of the field in Arizona right now are bad enough that the local beat reporters have taken notice:

Former Broncos running back Marlon Mack getting injured on this particular field should serve as a warning sign to the Denver Broncos, who have declared publicly that their starters are going to be playing in this game: Don't let your players risk injury on this absolute embarrassment of a field.

The Broncos have already suffered multiple season-ending injuries at training camp. Tim Patrick was lost for the season to an Achilles injury and Jonas Griffith got tangled up in a special teams drill, suffering an injury that will cost him the 2023 season as well. Injuries happen in football but having a proper field can help prevent some unnecessary injuries.

A field in as bad of a condition as the one we see in Arizona right now could have players dropping like flies in a preseason contest. Are the Denver Broncos really willing to risk putting their players out on that field? Not that you want to see anyone get injured at all, but especially the starters?

This kind of reminds me of the first Mighty Ducks film. When Gordon Bombay coaches his first practice with District 5, he parks his limousine on the ice, frozen over a lake. It's an extremely dangerous thing to do which gets a very (understandably) furious response out of one of the kids' parents (Charlie's mom). Bombay responds to her anger by shouting back, "I just know!" regarding the conditions of the ice and whether or not parking a limo on the ice is going to be dangerous.

The mom appropriately responds that 'I just know 'doesn't cut it.

What am I getting at here? I'm saying that Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton should be taking the role of Charlie's mom in this instance. He needs to protect his players from this egregious playing surface by whatever means necessary. If that means forfeiting a preseason game. What's the NFL's policy on that? Why do they not have a stricter policy on field conditions?

The point is -- player safety is already a major issue for the NFL these days, and allowing two teams to play a game on this particular field in two days is the NFL asking for a problem. Who is responsible, then, if players go out on this field and actually get injured with this kind of video footage and evidence of a player already getting hurt on it?


This isn't a regular season game. This isn't a game with playoff implications. This is a preseason game. As much as we all want to see the Broncos out there on the field playing, nobody wants to see players get hurt because of a laughable playing surface.

The Broncos should be reaching out to the league regarding the state of the field and refusing to play on it unless it's changed.

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