Injuries are a part of playing sports no matter the league or the sport. The big issue is the noncontact injuries that are caused by turf fields in the NFL. With the number of injuries this year, the NFL must ban turf immediately. This is not just an issue this year, but for many seasons now. The NFL must ban turf for the safety of its players.
NFL Must Ban Turf: Noncontact Injuries
There have been a number of injuries this season that was a result of the turf fields. According to NBCSports, 14 NFL stadiums out of 32 still use turf. While this example may not have happened in the 2022 season, former LA Rams’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr tore his ACL during the Superbowl LVI. This caused the wide receiver to exit the game early, missing out on the end of the Super Bowl.
Luckily for the Rams, they were able to become Super Bowl champions without Beckham, but the chances of this particular injury would have gone down if the game was played on a grass field. This caused many players, current and former, to call out the league stating the NFL must ban turf.
Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard also tore his ACL early in the season at MetLife stadium. All the receiver was doing was running downfield to get open for quarterback Daniel Jones, but then went down without being touched. This injury caused Beckham to call out the league through a tweet, which can be read here.
Most recently, the Green Bay Packers faced many injuries while facing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. This stadium is one of the 14 to still have turf. Packers linebacker Rashan Gary tore his ACL. Multiple key players for the Packers also left the game early with an injury. After the game, Green Bay’s linebacker De’Vondre Campbell called out for more grass fields in a tweet that can be read here.
In week one of the 2021 season, San Francisco 49ers cornerback, Jason Verrett also tore his ACL at Ford Fields. Of course, there have been many other players to become injured due to turf, these are just a few. With the number of players getting hurt, the NFL must ban turf.
NFL Must Ban Turf: Why is it Dangerous
A study from 2019, looks at the number of injuries in the NFL from 2012-2016. While the study is a couple of years old, the results still send a message. The study found that there was a 27% increase in lower-body non-contact injuries from playing on synthetic turf. There is also a 67% increased chance of ankle injuries on turf. While there are different types of turf, the majority of athletes would prefer to play on grass fields instead.
Other studies have demonstrated that turf can harm people in ways other than injuries. An article from 2019, which can be read here, states turf can “Lead to pneumonia, sepsis and bloodstream infections that can prove fatal. A MRSA infection can happen after skin is scraped or cut, which can occur from sliding on artificial turf.” For years athletes across all sports have been pushing for grass fields. There is a higher chance of players catching diseases such as skin cancer from the turf and that is not okay. The NFL must ban turf for not only the short-term safety of players but the long-term as well.
NFL Must Ban Turf: The League Has The Money
One of the most frustrating aspects of the fight for grass fields is understanding just how much money the league makes. In 2021, the league earned 17.19 billion dollars. The 2020 NFL season did lose revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2021 the league earned about two billion more dollars than in 2019. With the addition of Amazon Prime for Thursday Night Football, it is expected the league’s 2022 revenue will be even higher.
There are 16 NFL stadiums that have grass fields. The Buffalo Bills announced the renderings of a new stadium, which is planned to have natural grass. This will be one less stadium with turf. While the new home for the Bills is not because of the field itself, the other 12 teams that play on turf should understand it is cheaper to put in a grass field than to build a stadium. The owners have the money but still will not make the switch because of maintenance costs.
While grass fields may be more expensive to maintain, they will be beneficial to the league and its players in the long run. Countries across the world will not put turf in their stadiums for these reasons. The NFL must ban turf from stadiums across the league
For more NFL content:
Check out my top five super bowl contenders after eight weeks. Also, check out my top five teams to tank after eight weeks. Read my most recent article here on the San Francisco 49ers getting healthy after their bye week.
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Turf IS grass …. Don’t use this word to mean “ artificial grass, or artificial turf” hard to take you seriously if you are making such an blatant mistake.