NFLPA executive director Lloyd Howell makes statement on NFL field surface following Aaron Rodgers injury

Lloyd Howell weighed in on the importance of changing NFL field surfaces to natural grass

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Aaron Rodgers' injury on Monday Night Football sparked a real issue and change that NFLPA executive director Lloyd Howell would like to see.

In an ongoing discussion about whether NFL players should compete on natural grass or continue on the turf, Howell said switching to grass is the "easiest decision the NFL can make."

“The players overwhelmingly prefer it and the data is clear that grass is simply safer than artificial turf," he wrote. “It is an issue that has been near the top of the players’ list during my team visits and one I have raised with the NFL.

“While we know there is an investment to making this change, there is a bigger cost to everyone in our business if we keep losing our best players to unnecessary injuries. It makes no sense that stadiums can flip over to superior grass surfaces when the World Cup comes, or soccer clubs come to visit for exhibition games in the summer, but inferior artificial surfaces are acceptable for our own players.

“This is worth the investment and it simply needs to change now."

Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles, putting an end to his 2023 season, an MRI confirmed on Tuesday.

The injury came during a contest against the Buffalo Bills at home. Just four plays into Rodgers' debut and the Jets' opening possession, the 39-year-old landed awkwardly after a sack by the Bills' Leonard Floyd.

There is no timetable or ruling on how this impacts Rodger's career after this season, but research has shown that it can take a year or more for athletes to be back in full form.

Do any NFL stadiums have real grass?

There are 15 NFL stadiums that have real grass.

The other 17 teams play artificial turf across 15 stadiums as the Giants and Jets share a field at MetLife Stadium while the Rams and Chargers play at SoFi Stadium.

For the 2023 season, MetLife Stadium installed a new field turf called FieldTurf Core, a multi-layer dial-polymer monofilament fiber designed to produce fewer injuries than other infill weights.

MetLife Stadium’s old turf, the UBU Sports Speed Series S5-M, was widely criticized by players and saw a significant number of injuries for teams playing road games.

A full breakdown of stadiums and their surfaces can be seen here.

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