Pete Carroll Calls For Investigation Into NFL Playing Surfaces
Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll encouraged the NFL to look into the injury risks of different playing surfaces following a game between the Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
During the contest on artificial turf, both teams lost players to knee injuries on unrelated noncontact plays.
After Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf and Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson exited the game early with injuries, Carroll was adamant that league officials closely examine the effects of playing surfaces on players’ safety.
Scary looking injury for JC Jacksonpic.twitter.com/x57j9VyAl6
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 23, 2022
“I think we definitely need to look at this really seriously in the offseason again,” Carroll said when asked about the grass-turf debate. “It’s been a discussion before. We’ve got to do what’s right, and we’ve got to do what’s safest for the players and we’ve got to make those choices. I would pound on the drum for that.”
Like the Seahawks’ home venue, Lumen Field, SoFi Stadium uses artificial turf. The Chargers and Los Angeles Rams both play home games there, but multiple findings suggest that the surface is more dangerous than grass.
In 2020, NFLPA President J.C. Tretter advocated for a full transition to grass fields, pointing to evidence that players were 28% more likely to suffer lower extremity injuries on noncontact plays over a six-year period.
“The data stands out,” Tretter said at the time. “Those numbers are staggering, the difference in injury rate between turf and natural grass. It’s possible to get grass in every location, and it’s about pushing for that. We all should be working toward the safest style of play.”
The advantages of using artificial turf are obvious, as the surface remains unaltered by inclement weather and does not require as much care in drier, hotter climates. It has also improved since Astroturf was first implemented in the 1970s, but dangers still exist that have led many to call for the return of grass throughout the league.
While Metcalf has already reported that he is recovering well from his injury, Jackson’s knee injury was revealed to be a ruptured patellar tendon after the game. He will miss the rest of the season.
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