Super Bowl 2023: Poor field traction causes players to slip, prompts Eagles players to change cleats

The State Farm Stadium field was not up to Super Bowl standards Sunday.

Players from both teams repeatedly slipped on the turf throughout the game, prompting Philadelphia Eagles players to change cleats before the second half. Fortunately for Harrison Butker, he didn't slip on the winning field goal in a 38-35 Chiefs win.

Fox's Tom Rinaldi reported during the third quarter that "almost half a dozen" Eagles players switched cleats to gain better traction, including quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver DeVonta Smith and pass rusher Haason Reddick.

After the game Reddick called the turf "the worst field" he's ever played on.

While no players from the Chiefs reportedly changed cleats, the field impacted players from both teams. Eagles receiver A.J. Brown slipped and fell after a third-quarter catch.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after rushing for a one yard touchdown during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Isiah Pacheco slipped during a touchdown celebration in the second half. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon slipped and fell on a first-down run in the third quarter without being touched. Fortunately for the Chiefs, it didn't impact the drive that finished with an Isiah Pacheco touchdown run.

But even Pacheco's touchdown dance fell victim to the slick turf.

Meanwhile, kicker Jake Elliott slipped and fell during a kickoff after a second-half Eagles field goal extended Philadelphia's lead to 27-21.

Did Rihanna's halftime show make field worse?

The issue was apparent in the first half but appeared to worsen after halftime. Fox cameras showed workers filling in divots on the field after the stage from Rihanna's halftime show was removed.

The turf at State Farm Stadium has been an issue since the beginning of the season. Butker was carted off the field after rolling his plant ankle during a Week 1 game against the Arizona Cardinals. But that turf is not the turf used for Sunday's Super Bowl. The NFL installed new turf for Sunday that was a product of years of preparation. Rinaldi reported that the turf installed was Tahoma 31 Bermuda grass.

What caused the poor footing during Sunday's game wasn't immediately clear. What was clear is that the lack of traction had an impact on the game.