NFL Players Association, after Aaron Rodgers injury: “It doesn’t make sense for stadiums to be switched to superior grass surfaces when the World Cup comes, or for soccer clubs to come visit exhibition games in the summer, but inferior synthetic surfaces are acceptable to our players.”
Last updated: 09/13/23 at 4:57 pm
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers was forced out of his Jets debut after an opening drive sack caused an injury
The NFL Players Association has called on the league to remove artificial turf fields in favor of natural grass surfaces following a season-ending injury to four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers this week.
NFLPA Executive Director Lloyd Howell’s plea came two days after Rodgers’ long-awaited debut with the New York Jets was quickly ended when the 39-year-old quarterback tore his Achilles tendon on the team’s fourth play from scrimmage in their season-opening game. .
Howell, who took over as NFL CEO in June, said in a statement that players overwhelmingly prefer to play on grass and that the issue of surfaces was top of mind for players during his team’s visits.
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets highlights from Week 1 of the NFL season
“Although we know there is an investment in making this change, there is a greater cost to everyone in our business if we continue to lose our best players to unnecessary injuries,” Howell said.
“It doesn’t make sense for pitches to switch to superior grass surfaces when the World Cup comes around, or football clubs come to visit exhibition matches in the summer, but lower quality synthetic surfaces are acceptable for our players.”
The NFLPA this year released data showing that non-contact injuries were more common on artificial turf than on grass fields during the 2022 NFL regular season.
Rodgers was injured while twisting awkwardly on the sack against the Buffalo Bills, and Jets coach Robert Saleh said he did not feel the playing surface caused the injury, adding, “If it was a non-contact injury, I think that’s obviously going to be something to discuss.”
New York Jets coach Robert Saleh addresses Rodgers’ injury in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills
What does Rodgers’ season-ending injury mean for the Jets?
The story wasn’t supposed to go like this. Yet somehow New York seemed to come alive when the frenzied MetLife Stadium, brimming with long-lost Super Bowl allure, fell silent at the sight of Rodgers hitting the turf. Oh boy.
New York has pulled out all the stops on Broadway. Rodgers was introduced by rapper and actor Method Man, and sang AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” song “I’m Kind of a Big Deal” with a spotlight on his chase and green lasers spread around the crowd as he exited the tunnel to be greeted by his new teammates. Fans of the team. He was a four-time MVP here, as well as a thriving new era of rivalry for the Jets.
The Jets have not been to a Super Bowl since the days of Joe Namath and the 1968 season, in which 37 quarterbacks tried and failed to carry the mantle that the Big Apple showman carried over five tumultuous decades. Rodgers was considered the man who finally broke the curse.
Four minutes later, he was down. He eventually came out.
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