MetLife Stadium turf gets mixed reviews after Aaron Rodgers injury

Multiple Buffalo Bills and New York Jets players revealed mixed reviews of MetLife Stadium’s new FieldTurf Core surface in the wake of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ potentially season-ending Achilles injury on “Monday Night Football.”

A report from The Athletic said that it’s “unclear what role, if any” the turf had in the first-quarter injury during the Jets’ Week 1 overtime win.
The first notable name to comment on the playing surface was Rodgers’ former longtime teammate with the Green Bay Packers, offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, who vented on social media and called out the NFL for still using artificial turf.

Among the players who were on the field on Monday and had positive things to say about the new turf in East Rutherford, NJ were Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins and Jets cornerback D.J. Reed.

“I did mention on the field that it felt way better. I don’t know what they did, but it felt way better. The turf feels a lot better because the (old) turf was horrible. But it feels good,” Dawkins said.”

“It definitely feels better. It’s a lot of beads, so it gets in your cleats. So you got to kind of shake it out, but it’s definitely softer than last year. Playing last year it was definitely harder, so I can see it being more pressure on your knees (then),” Reed added.

Two players who were very much in agreement with Bakhtiari, however, were New York wide receiver Randall Cobb (another former longtime Packers star) and Jets edge rusher Jermaine Johnson.

“We wanted the NFL to protect the players with grass fields, but the NFL is more worried about making money. Profit over people, it’s always been the case. I’ve never been a fan of turf. That’s my stance,” Cobb said.

“I’m not a fan of turf at all. It’s just hard on athletes. I love grass,” Johnson added. “I played in the South pretty much my whole collegiate career, so the grass is very forgiving. Your strides, anything accidental, the grass will give. Turf doesn’t give, so it just goes back into your body and bad things happen. So I’m not a big fan of the turf, period.”

Per the report, New York has 13 more games on artificial turf this year, including nine more contests at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets will visit AT&T Stadium (which uses artificial turf) to face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday. Their first game on a grass field doesn’t come until Week 5 when they play the Denver Broncos at 4:25 p.m. ET on Oct. 8 at Empower Field at Mile High.


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