Patriots Begin Replacing Gillette Stadium FieldTurf Following Player Complaints, Injuries
The Patriots on Sunday began the "process of replacing the current FieldTurf" at Gillette Stadium, the "third time the surface has been replaced" since March '14, according to Jim McBride of the BOSTON GLOBE. A Patriots spokesperson yesterday said that the FieldTurf "passed all the standards" of the NFL and MLS, and the decision to replace it was "because it didn’t fit the team’s standard." Some Patriots players "complained the new surface was too soft" following Thursday's opener against the Chiefs. There is "no evidence to suggest the surface isn’t safe, but there have been three notable injuries in the three games the Patriots have played since May." Patriots CB Cyrus Jones, Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower and Chiefs S Eric Berry all suffered leg injuries on the surface. Because the Patriots "don’t play at home for two weeks and the Revolution, who share the stadium, don’t play there until Sept. 23, there is plenty of time for the installation" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/12). NBCSN's Chris Simms said, "They should have had a good feel for what the surface totally was. I had always heard they were never really happy it went from grass to the field turf." He added, "I’m just so sick of seeing field turf in general on the field. We’re the only country in the world who goes, ‘Hey, we’re paying you $25 million a year and we’re not going to put a great surface underneath you.’ ... We don’t see Ronaldo and Messi ever play on field turf" ("PFT," NBCSN, 9/12). ESPN.com's Mike Reiss wrote under the header, "Is It Time For Patriots To Consider Going Back To Natural Grass Field?" (ESPN.com, 9/11).