Field Expected to Be 'Decent' for NFC Championship Game

The last of 500 tons of new Kentucky bluegrass rolled onto Lambeau Field despite a daylong storm with driving winds that dumped an additional two to three inches of snow on Green Bay, Wis.

"We took on a very big project and I think we are very lucky to get it done," Lambeau Field supervisor Todd Edlebeck said. "It is great to be at this point."

If it doesn't get too cold and the heating coils beneath the field hold up, Edlebeck said the field will be "decent" for Sunday's NFC championship game between the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers.

"They should have good footing," he said. "They should be able to get their cleats in."

The forecast for Sunday calls for possible early morning below-zero temperatures and a high of about 10 degrees. The wind could make it feel like 20 below, the National Weather Service said.

The new grass was covered with tarps to protect it from the snow and cold. Lines will be put on once the snow stops.

The field became a quagmire during a rainstorm Saturday in the Packers' 35-14 victory over San Francisco.

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Carolina outside linebacker Lamar Lathon missed the Panthers' practice because of a stomach virus but is expected to be ready for the NFC championship game against Green Bay.

"He spent the day with our doctors today," Coach Dom Capers said in Charlotte, N.C. "They tell me they're hopeful he'll be ready to practice tomorrow."

Lathon finished the regular season with 13 1/2 sacks, second in the NFL behind the 14 1/2 of teammate Kevin Greene.

If Lathon is unable to play, he would be replaced by Duane Bickett, a 12-year veteran who has been used exclusively as a reserve this season.

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