While Bill Belichick wouldn't go so far as to blame the field conditions at Houston's Reliant Stadium on the serious knee injury suffered by receiver Wes Welker during Sunday's game against the Texans, the New England Patriots coach said on Monday that he had concerns about the quality of the natural grass field before the game.
"I thought it was terrible," Belichick said on Monday afternoon during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio 850 WEEI. "I really thought it was one of the worst fields I've seen."
Belichick said he had concerns about the playing surface after walking on the field before the game, saying certain areas seemed softer than others.
"I don't know what would have happened on another field," he said. "The quality of the field I thought was poor. I'm not saying it cost us the game, but at this level we ought to be able to play with consistency."
Some sections of sod at Reliant Stadium had been replaced after the Texas Bowl was played there Dec. 31.
Welker injured his knee while making a cut in the first quarter of Sunday's regular-season-ending loss. Initial tests showed he tore both the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee, but he was scheduled to undergo more testing Monday, a source close to the situation told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The team had not commented or released any information on Welker's status as of late Monday afternoon.
Should the diagnosis hold up, Welker's season would be over and he would face a long recovery period. The Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens in a first-round playoff game Sunday.