NFL Players’ Association, after Aaron Rodgers injury: “It makes no sense that stadiums can turn to premium turf surfaces when the World Cup comes, or soccer clubs come visit us for exhibition games in the summer, but inferior artificial surfaces are acceptable for our own players.”
Last updated: 09/13/23 4:57 p.m.
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers was forced out in his Jets debut after an early sack caused an injury.
The NFL Players Association has called on the league to eliminate artificial turf fields in favor of natural grass surfaces following four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending injury this week.
The call from NFLPA Executive Director Lloyd Howell came two days after Rodgers’ highly anticipated debut with the New York Jets came to a quick end when the 39-year-old quarterback tore his Achilles tendon on the team’s fourth play from scrimmage in their season opener. .
Howell, who took over as executive director of the NFLPA in June, said in a statement that players overwhelmingly preferred playing on grass and that the issue of surfaces was top of mind among players during his team’s visits. .
Highlights of the Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets in Week 1 of the NFL season
“While we know there is an investment to make this change, there will be a greater cost to everyone in our industry if we continue to lose our best players to unnecessary injuries,” Howell said.
“It makes no sense that stadiums can turn to premium turf surfaces when the World Cup arrives, or that football clubs come to visit us for exhibition matches in the summer, but artificial surfaces of inferior quality are acceptable to our own players.”
The NFLPA released data this year showing that non-contact injuries were more common on artificial turf than on turf fields during the 2022 NFL regular season.
Rodgers was injured while twisting awkwardly during a sack against the Buffalo Bills, and Jets head coach Robert Saleh said he didn’t think the playing surface caused the injury, adding, “If it was a non-contact injury, I think “that would obviously be something to discuss.
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh discusses Rodgers’ injury in their season opener against the Buffalo Bills
What does Rodgers’ season-ending injury mean for the Jets?
The story wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. And yet, somehow, it seemed too New York Jet-ish as a frenzied MetLife Stadium, fizzing with the punch of the long-lost Super Bowl, fell silent at the sight of Rodgers hitting the turf. Oh man.
New York took all the stops off Broadway. Rodgers was introduced by rapper and actor Method Man, and accompanied by AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” track “I’m kind of a big deal” with a spotlight stalking him and green lasers dotted around the crowd as as he emerged from the tunnel to be greeted by high-fives from his beloved new teammates. The four-time MVP was there, and so was a thriving new era of Jets contention.
Since the days of Joe Namath and the 1968 season, the Jets have not appeared in a Super Bowl, with 37 quarterbacks unsuccessfully trying to carry the torch passed down by the Big Apple showman over five turbulent decades. Rodgers was seen as the man who would finally break the curse.
Four minutes later he was on the ground. And finally outside.
Click the link in the subtitle above to read Cameron Hogwood’s full report.