The Bears practiced at Northwestern's outdoor facility Saturday, which was their only chance to attempt to simulate conditions at TCF Bank Stadium, where Monday night's game will be played after the Metrodome collapsed.
The team ventured away from Halas Hall to give players an opportunity to see what traction will be like on Monday. Unlike most NFL stadiums, the University of Minnesota's home field does not have heating coils to keep the artificial turf soft. Grounds crews have been heating the surface beneath a thermal tarp to thaw the field.
"It was good to go down there today to let the guys try different pairs of shoes," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We haven't played outside on artificial turf for a while. You'd have to say Baltimore last year was similar but it will be a lot colder for this game."
While Bears officials lauded Northwestern for it's efforts to prepare the outdoor practice field for Saturday's practice, players are still unsure what to expect come Monday night.
"We'll only get a feel for what it's going to be like when we get there," safety Danieal Manning said.