Both the Patriots and Seahawks are monitoring the air quality in Seattle as the two clubs gear up for their primetime matchup at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. Due to the wildfires in Washington state bringing the air quality to unhealthy levels, the Seahawks moved their Wednesday practice indoors and the Mariners have even elected to move their weekend series with Padres to San Diego.
Per NFL rules, if the air quality index reaches 200 or higher, the game will need to be relocated. Seattle’s air quality index has hovered around that 200 number over the last few days, but luckily for these clubs, rain in the forecast for Friday is promising for their prospects of playing in Seattle this weekend.
“We see a turn in the weather pattern coming before the weekend that should help us out,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday, via The Seattle Times. “We’re tuned into it, the predictions, if you’re paying attention to the science, the predictions are it’s gonna move out some here, but anything can happen so we’ve got to be ready.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about any air quality concerns during his Thursday videoconference with reporters and had a pretty positive outlook but added that his team will be ready to do whatever maneuvering the situation calls for.
“Yeah, we’re aware of it,” he said. “We’ve looked into it a little bit. I think the forecast that I’ve seen, tracked them over the last couple of days, looks really pretty promising that there’s some wind currents coming in from the Pacific — not that I know anything about wind currents or meteorology or anything here, but this is other people telling me that — but that that’s going to help. Certainly, by the end of the week, sounds like as early as Friday, things could start to clear up a little bit.
“So, I’d say from our standpoint really we’re going to control the things that we can control. We’ve talked about possibly some things that we might be able to do a little bit differently if necessary. Right now, I don’t really think that it appears that will be necessary, but we’ll monitor that situation and see. So, yeah, thanks for asking about that, but I’d say right now it’s tracking to where we don’t anticipate a major problem, but we’ll be prepared if things change.”
New England and Seattle were both able to earn their first wins of the season in Week 1, so each will try to move to 2-0 in 2020 when they kick this game off on Sunday Night Football.