CINCINNATI — Welcome Stadium lived up to its name Saturday, hosting the Bengals first practice of summer training camp, but at least one player and other staffers had issues with the condition of the turf.
Receiver Tyler Boyd took issue Sundaywith the artificial surface at Welcome, intimating the conditions were to blame for A.J. Green suffering an injury to his foot.
“I couldn’t run any routes all day,” Boyd said when asked about the turf. “I’m falling all over the ground, it was bad. There were rocks and pebbles out there, it was somewhere we shouldn’t have been.”
After Sunday’s practice at Paul Brown Stadium, head coach Zac Taylor refuted Boyd’s claims of subpar field conditions at the stadium owned by Dayton Public Schools.
“Honestly I didn’t hear anybody say that,” the rookie head coach said. “Especially with A.J.’s injury, you review that tape and he just came down a little funny. There was competition for a ball and I don’t think the field had anything to do with it, that could have happened right out here.”
Taylor went on to praise the crowd for the team’s first workout.
“I enjoyed the trip up to Dayton yesterday (Saturday). We got a chance to interact with some people we don’t usually get to see. It was unfortunate that A.J. Got hurt on that play but it didn’t have anything to do with the field.”
The Bengals have been coming to Dayton for training camp workouts for several years and this isn’t the first time or the only field that players or staff have complained about.
Unfortunately, the claims of a poor field quickly made national headlines, giving Dayton and Welcome Stadium a black eye.
Originally, the practice was scheduled for a new turf field the NFL wanted to build at Triangle Park to commemorate the playing of the first NFL game in 1918 between the Dayton Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles. That project was derailed after it was discovered there may be a native american burial ground on the property.