MetLife Stadium turf positive aspects repute as one in all NFL’s most harmful

Welcome to the scene of your demise, NFL players.

Welcome to the scene of your demise, NFL gamers.
Picture: Getty Photographs

A few of you on the market keep in mind what was unanimously generally known as the worst venue in main North American skilled sports activities, Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. The Eagles and Phillies shared that facility for greater than 20 years.

When The Vet housed these groups, there have been many stadiums that have been dumps, however this one was particularly terrible. The followers have been so rowdy that there was a courthouse and a jail within the constructing, however what was most horrible concerning the place was the turf.

There was no such factor nearly as good AstroTurf again when that was the substitute floor of selection within the NFL, however no floor within the league was as tough because the one at The Vet. Former Chicago Bears huge receiver Wendell Davis had his profession ended when he blew out each patellar tendons on the floor in 1993. It was a continuing supply of criticism amongst gamers in each sports activities, particularly by the house groups. Donovan McNabb once said, “The entire league is aware of about The Vet turf. There’s two issues you will get hit by — our defenders or our stadium.”

Today the substitute floor that’s used at NFL stadiums — they don’t share house fields with MLB groups anymore — is FieldTurf. It’s softer than pure grass with the plastic blades, and tire rubber as a substitute of dust. Nonetheless, similar to AstroTurf, there are issues that it makes gamers extra vulnerable to delicate tissue accidents. Additionally, similar to the times of AstroTurf there’s a venue that’s well-known to be the worst: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The New York Giants misplaced a key contributor Monday evening on that turf. Sterling Shepard fought laborious to get better from an achilles damage, and thru three video games this season he was the Giants’ main receiver. Shepard was jogging up the sideline with slightly below one minute remaining of their loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and immediately he dropped to the bottom as if he obtained calf kicked by an MMA fighter. He was carted off of the sector and later identified with a torn ACL.

Identical to The Vet, MetLife receives complaints from each coaches and gamers. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Jets at that stadium in Week 1, however they weren’t too eager on the taking part in circumstances, in response to a quote that ESPN’s Jamison Hensley posted on Twitter.

“That turf was matted down, it was packed down, it was a little bit tight.” John Harbaugh mentioned. “Possibly that’s the way it’s speculated to be. I don’t know, however that’s what I noticed. It was a little bit robust.”

There have been complaints concerning the floor at MetLife Stadium for a while. In 2020 the floor was really investigated after a number of San Francisco 49ers went down with accidents throughout a sport. Coming off of a Tremendous Bowl look in 2019, they misplaced Nick Bosa, Jimmy Garoppolo, Solomon Thomas, Tevin Coleman, and Raheem Mostert all in the identical sport. Arik Armstead tweeted out after the sport that the turf was “trash,” and Kyle Shanahan mentioned to the media, “Guys gave the impression to be getting caught within the floor extra usually.” The NFL and NFLPA did examine the sector after that sport and located the circumstances to be enough.

In fact I’m neither a physician nor a scientist. If I used to be, then I might be making observations of scientific points way more essential to the well-being of this planet than the taking part in surfaces at soccer video games. Nonetheless, I did discover one thing. Throughout video games on FieldTurf, the tire rubber normally flies up from beneath the gamers’ ft often. The rubber isn’t patted down, or gorilla glued. From what I noticed of how the FieldTurf was maintained at my former highschool when the pure grass was changed in 2003, someone periodically comes by in a car and dumps the rubber onto the sector.

Over time, as the sector is performed on, much less and fewer of the rubber will fly up — and getting it in your eye actually sucks — but it surely by no means stops fully. I had nothing to do with the sector alternative aside from going door to door for a month throughout the summer season of 2002 hawking coupon booklets for $20 every. Nonetheless, I did discover on Monday evening that the rubber virtually by no means flies up at MetLife Stadium. It wasn’t in any respect chilly throughout that sport. There was no pure cause for granules of tire rubber to remain caught to the bottom.

Proper now there isn’t any research that proves direct causation between accidents and the MetLife FieldTurf. And, not like The Vet, poor stitching and third base aren’t seen, and a preseason sport didn’t should be canceled when, after the stadium changed the turf, it was too uneven for a secure sport.

Whereas MetLife Stadium isn’t there but, proper now, it does maintain the NFL’s horrible turf title.

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