To turf or not to turn, that is the big question going around the NFL right now…again.
The latest round of the debate comes after Aaron Rodgers’ season-ended achilles tear in the New York Jets’ season-opening game at MetLife Stadium.
Rodgers, whose injury is not necessarily turf related, becomes the latest in a long line of players to suffer season-ending lower-body injuries at the stadium.
San Francisco 49ERS defensive linemen and Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas both suffered torn ACLs in the same game in 2020. While the New York Giants lost wideout Sterling Shepard to a torn ACL in their 2022 home opener.
MetLife Stadium replaced its turf prior to the 2023 season and Buffalo Bills lineman Dion Dawkins said he could feel the difference.
‘I did mention on the field that it felt way better,” Dawkins said. “I don’t know what they did, but it felt way better. The turf feels a lot better because the (old) turf was horrible. But it feels good.”
But that wasn’t good enough for the NFLPA, which called on the league to replace all turf surfaces with grass going forward.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 13, 2023
However, former Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who played a majority of his career home games in the stadium, doesn’t seem to agree.
“The turf gives you a reliable field all the time,” Manning said on Front Office Sports Today. “The Giants played in the same stadium in a big rainstorm [the night before]. If you have to play on that on Monday night [on grass], it would be ripped up.”
Manning also said that he doesn’t believe the turf had an effect on Rodgers’ achilles tear.
“I don’t think the turf had a factor in that injury,” he said.
Rodgers had surgery on Thursday night and hopes to return for the start of the 2024 season.