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Chargers leery of 49ers’ turf

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POSTED August 22, 2014 1:20 a.m.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Chargers might be among the few longing for Candlestick Park.

San Diego plays the San Francisco 49ers in a preseason game at their new Levi’s Stadium on Sunday. That’s the plan anyway.

There’s been concern regarding the Levi’s Stadium’s playing surface since Wednesday, after the 49ers cut short their practice on it. San Francisco replaced portions of the Levi’s Stadium loose turf on Thursday and said in a statement the field won’t be an issue for Sunday’s game.

“They assured us the field will be fine and ready to go at the scheduled time,” coach Mike McCoy said.

The Chargers will give it an inspection before the game.

“We take a look at every field when we go on the road,” McCoy said. “The players bring a number of pairs of shoes every time we go on the road.

“So we are going to have our normal pregame routine, have everybody walking through the field to make sure they have their right cleats on. It’s not different than any other game we are playing.”

Kicker Nick Novak is confident the footing will be true.

“I’m sure it will be fine when we get there,” he said. “We’re just going to play ball. It doesn’t matter what the field is like.”

The Chargers are well-versed in preseason games being compromised. A Chargers-Oilers contest in 1995 was canceled when the Astrodome turf was deemed unsafe before the game.

Bobby Ross, then the Chargers’ coach, was adamant about not playing on the shoddy field, which featured protruding seams on the artificial turf.

In the 1980 Hall of Fame contest, the Chargers and Packers exited the field with five minutes remaining because of a severe storm. The game never resumed and ended in a scoreless tie.

John Pagano, the Chargers’ defensive coordinator, isn’t worry about Sunday’s turf.

“When we get there we will make sure we run around,” he said. “Any type of new surface that you are going to you want to bring enough cleats to be able to check the surface.”

After the defense’s showing in Saturday’s 41-14 shellacking by the Seattle Seahawks, Pagano is fretting about other obstacles against San Francisco.

“I got to worry about stopping that offense,” he said. “That is the most important thing.”

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