The Cleveland Browns‘ field at FirstEnergy Stadium is undergoing repairs after it was vandalized Tuesday morning.
Per helicopter footage from News 5 Cleveland, an unknown individual drove circles around the turf in a Caterpillar Utility Compactor. The driver appeared to have taken chunks out of the Kentucky Bluegrass which had tire marks in it that span nearly half the field.
The Browns have notified police of the incident, according to Jake Trotter of ESPN. The Cleveland Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible break-in, and believes the individual may have jumped the fence before taking the joyride.
Cleveland (3-7) hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. FirstEnergy Stadium is being repaired with the hopes of everything being good to go before kickoff.
“Based on our internal evaluation, there was some superficial damage to the playing field that our grounds maintenance team is currently working to repair,” the Browns said in a statement. “We take great pride in the strong reviews and reputation of our stadium’s playing surface, have been in touch with the NFL on the matter and are confident after repair our field will be ready for Sunday’s game.”
Browns Struggling Heading Into Week 12 Matchup vs. Buccaneers
The Browns enter the Week 12 matchup having dropped six of seven after starting the season 2-1. Sunday’s game will be the last before quarterback Deshaun Watson is officially eligible to return from his 11-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
It’ll be tough sledding for the Browns, who welcome in a Buccaneers squad which has won back-to-back games.
“We all share in it,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday. “3-7, we all share in it. That defines us today, but the focus right now is what we are going to do this week.”