NFL To Look At MetLife Stadium Field After 49ers Injuries
The NFL “will be taking a look” at the field at MetLife Stadium after the 49ers expressed “concerns about the quality of the turf” after yesterday’s game against the Jets, according to NBC’s Mike Florio. The 49ers suffered “plenty of lower leg injuries,” including potentially season-ending injuries to DE Nick Bosa and DT Solomon Thomas (“FNIA,” NBC, 9/20). In Sacramento, Chris Biderman notes the 49ers believe that the turf "played a significant role in the long list of knee and ankle issues coming out of the game." 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo "exited the game at halftime with a high ankle sprain," while RBs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman "also exited with knee injuries." Much of the talk after the game "revolved around the newly installed field turf" at MetLife Stadium, where the 49ers will also play the Giants next week. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that players were "mentioning how sticky it was before the game and throughout." Shanahan said, “I don’t know exactly why it happened, as far as the feeling that was on the sidelines, that’s as many knee injuries and ankle stuff and people getting caught on the turf as I’ve ever been a part of. From what I saw, the other team did too. I know our players talked about it the entire game, just how sticky the turf was" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/21).
NEEDS BREAKING IN: In San Jose, Michael Nowels notes this was "just the second game on the new artificial turf installed at MetLife Stadium this offseason." The Giants and Steelers played last Monday night, and Steelers OT Zach Banner "tore his ACL during that game." 49ers OT Trent Williams said that new turf "presents a risk of cleats getting caught until it is broken in." He added, “You never want to blame the injuries on that but it is hard being a player in the trenches, put your foot in the ground, natural grass gives a bit, and on turf it gets stuck. I don’t want to say it’s dangerous but it’s close to it.” 49ers DE Arik Armstead in his postgame press conference said that he is "anxious about returning to play at MetLife again next week." Armstead: “We see guys we love go down and get hurt, and we gotta come back here and play again on the same surface. It’s anxiety-provoking to see that happen and know you have to do it again” (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 9/21). However, WFAN-AM's Boomer Esiason noted "nobody complained about the field" after the Steelers-Giants "MNF" game. Esiason: "Nobody has complained about the field, only a player or two on the 49ers did complain about the field and there was a report last night that NFL operations is going to look into the field. But I know for a fact that the Jets have not been contacted by anybody from the NFL" (“Boomer & Gio,” CBSSN, 9/21).
NOT WORTH THE NICE LOOK: In S.F., Scott Ostler writes the NFL "prizes beauty over common sense." MetLife Stadium's new artificial turf "looks luscious and green on TV," but is "apparently death to joints." Cleats "stick in the no-give carpet and joints snap." Ostler: "Seriously, they can’t grow grass in New Jersey?" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/21).