Union will respond Wednesday to Roger Goodell's claim that it had no issues with 49ers' practice field

The Commissioner had the first official word on the 49ers' reported concerns about the practice fields at UNLV, during his Super Bowl weak/week press conference. The NFL Players Association will have something to say about it on Wednesday.

During the not-invitation-only event, the NFLPA will give its thoughts on fields deemed to be unacceptably soft by the 49ers.

That's the response we received when asking for comment on Monday, after Goodell lumped the union in with his defense of the 49ers practice fields.

"We’ve had 23 experts out there," Goodell said. "We’ve had the union out there. All of them think that’s a very playable surface. It’s softer than what they have practiced on, but that happens. It’s well within all of our testing standards. It is something that we think — all our experts, as well as neutral field inspectors — have all said, unanimously, that it’s a playable field.”

Michael Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle explains that the problem is the hardness, or lack thereof, of the field, with score landing initially at 48. Per Silver, the ideal range is 70 to 90. (Silver adds that it has since increased to the low 50s.)

Silver also reports that the league defended the situation by explaining that the 49ers have played in recent on two fields that were regarded as similar surfaces, including MetLife Stadium. That's where the 49ers lost Nick Bosa and Soloman Thomas to torn ACLs on consecutive plays early in the 2020 season. "To say the 49ers were triggered would be an understatement," Silver says of the team's reaction.

Silver raises another interesting point. He suggests that the league leaked the situation to the media early Monday, creating the impression that the 49ers were whining while also establishing an opportunity for someone to ask Goodell about the situation — giving him a chance to echo in somewhat tactful terms the notion that the 49ers were whining.

While it's not a big deal, it's another example of the league bungling before gaslighting. That it's never a "we" problem but always a "you" problem.

Come Wednesday, it will be interesting to see whether the union agrees with Goodell's attempt to speak for it when claiming the field is fine. That said, the NFLPA should tread lightly; you never know when a "ground war" might be coming if someone doesn't like what you have to say about the practice-field grass.