Mats were nowhere to be seen on the sidelines during the Chargers vs. Chiefs game on Sunday night … just days after a Broncos player sued L.A., claiming the previous use of the ground coverings at SoFi Stadium caused him to tear his ACL.
The mats had been there for the Broncos vs. Chargers game back on Oct. 17 — and during a special teams play in the overtime period of the contest, outside linebacker Aaron Patrick stepped on them and blew out his knee.
Courtesy of NFL
In a lawsuit filed on Nov. 15, he claimed it was a mistake by the Chargers, ESPN, the NFL and others to allow the mats to be placed so close to the playing field … explaining all parties should have known they presented a dangerous hazard for players.
He sued for unspecified damages, including lost bonuses and future earning potential.
On Sunday — the first Chargers game at SoFi Stadium since the suit was filed — no mats were present in any area of the field.
It should be noted the game was an NBC broadcast, not an ESPN one … but cords and cables were either covered in a different way, or carried by officials.
Unclear if the Chargers imposed the changes as a result of the suit … they declined to comment due to the pending litigation.
Patrick’s attorney, William M. Berman of Berman & Riedel, tells TMZ Sports he and his client still aren’t happy with the changes … saying, “The guys holding the cables/wires were still in too close proximity to the field, creating what we believe to still be a very dangerous condition.”
“It’s about player safety. It’s for the betterment of the game.”