NFLPA executive director demands natural grass for all NFL stadiums after Aaron Rodgers injury

After New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodger's season-ending injury, the NFLPA is calling for all playing surfaces to be switched to natural grass.

Executive Director NFL (National Football League) players...
Executive Director NFL (National Football League) players... / Pacific Press/GettyImages

In Week 1, the NFL world watched as New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles early on in the team's game against the Buffalo Bills. With that, the talk of field conditions once again came to the forefront. MetLife Stadium's field conditions had a bad reputation over the years due to the amount of major injuries that occurred, but they switched to a new turf this offseason.

Putting that aside, players like Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and Jets wide receiver Randall Cobb have called for the NFL to switch from artificial turf to grass fields.

On Wednesday, NFL Players Association (NFLPA) executive director Lloyd Howell released a statement, calling on the league to switch all playing fields to "high quality natural grass surfaces." Howell cites that players "overwhelmingly prefer it" and data "is clear that grass is simply safer than artificial turf."

NFLPA executive director Lloyd Howell calls on NFL to switch to grass fields

"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 out 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."

Lloyd Howell, NFLPA executive director

As mentioned earlier, MetLife Stadium switched to a synthetic turf that was believed to be able to reduce the number of injuries to players. Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley and Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins noted that the new turf felt "softer" than before. However, Mosley still advocated that playing on a grass surface would be better.

Out of the 30 NFL stadiums, there are 16 that use natural grass. Here are the teams whose stadiums use natural grass playing surfaces, courtesy of's Art Stapleton:

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Chicago Bears
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Denver Broncos
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Washington Commanders

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday and addressed the players' complaints over switching to grass surfaces. Goodell says that other players prefer to play on artificial turf "because it's faster," and that they want to go on the science to see what is the better surface to prevent injuries.

The debate over turf vs. grass in the NFL will continue as injuries happen. With Rodgers, one of the biggest stars in the league, going down with an injury, the talk intensified.

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