"It's not fair to risk our health", a prominent player told Schefter on Tuesday.
The league announced the extraordinary decision today, six days before one of the most-anticipated regular-season games of the year. If the league insists on playing games in foreign countries, then those countries should get teams that not many people care to watch anyway.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, some players on both teams are "strongly considering" sitting out the game if it's played at Stadium Azteca. "Until very recently, we had no major concerns".
Steelers' Bell doesn't report, to sit entire season
At the time , the threat felt hollow largely because of Bell's 2018 payday: a one-season fully guaranteed deal of $14.5 million. It's not often players of Bell's caliber hit the open market, but that will happen this offseason.
The Rams left for Colorado Springs on Monday to train at high altitude for a week before traveling to Mexico City, where the elevation is about 7,300 feet. The NFL has also played exhibitions in Mexico.
Last May, Azteca Stadium authorities changed the surface from natural to hybrid. But the intense activity in the last few months has prevented the grass from reaching an optimum state. "'We all know that it's not right, that it has not been right and that it will not be all right, but those are the circumstances, and if we can help, we will do it".
Cruz Azul and America are the local teams playing in Azteca. The team will return to Los Angeles on Saturday.
As alternatives to the Mexico City setting, the league is considering relocating the game to Los Angeles, or postponing it to a later date in hopes that the field would be in better conditions, which doesn't really sound like a viable option.