Against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Gill was out on the field to hold the ball for a Bears field goal attempt before the end of the first half. He brought a towel out with him and started sopping up the water in the area around the ball. Apparently that's not allowed, so he was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) September 11, 2022
According to the NFL rulebook, a player can clear snow from around the kicking area, but only with his hands — no towels allowed. Since there was no snow on the field, we can assume that the referees applied this rule to rain, even though rain can't normally be moved by hands alone.
— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) September 11, 2022
That penalty took the Bears out of field-goal range, which prevented them from putting up their first points of the game. They went into the half losing 7-0 to the Niners.
Rain drowns Soldier Field
A towel was needed on the field due to the enormous amounts of rain that were dumped on the Chicago area on Sunday. Here's what it looked like around two hours before kickoff.
New turf at Soldier Field getting a good soaking today pic.twitter.com/4DL4eZziPr
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) September 11, 2022
Take a look at 49ers warmups— pic.twitter.com/nRiznr9z4u
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 11, 2022
The field crew did some squeegeeing, dumping the water off the field and directly on the sidelines.
Shock of all shocks, the sidelines didn't look that good after gallons upon gallons of water were poured on it.
The lines were redrawn shortly before kickoff and the field actually didn't look that bad.
Sideline gets re-chalked with 12 minutes before kick. Field looks much better than it did an hour ago. pic.twitter.com/Qzhe3Gshpx
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) September 11, 2022
Unfortunately, the field remained pretty wet.