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#pounditTuesday, May 28, 2024

Aaron Rodgers issues challenge to NFL over player injuries

Aaron Rodgers smiles

August 12, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has faced increase pressure this season to do away with artificial playing surfaces, and Aaron Rodgers is the latest prominent player to urge the league to make a change.

Rodgers was asked on Tuesday about the concerns that players are more likely to suffer serious non-contact injuries while playing on artificial turf than they are on grass surfaces. The Green Bay Packers star said he believes the time has come for the NFL to ban artificial turf. Rodgers was then asked if he thinks the league will make the change, and he said he does not.

“As much as I’ve enjoyed playing indoors over the years on turf, I do think it’s time to play on grass,” Rodgers said. “I think you’d see less of these non-contact injuries. … This would be putting money where your mouth is if the league is really interested in player safety.”

One of Rodgers’ teammates, Packers linebacker Rashan Gary, suffered a season-ending injury while playing on artificial turf at Ford Field in Week 10. Another Green Bay player unloaded on the NFL over that injury.

Several players have suffered significant non-contact injuries while playing on artificial turf this season. Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll recently called on the NFL to look into whether having only natural grass fields would be safer for players. The NFL Players Association has also urged the league to do away with artificial turf.

As Rodgers said, changing out all artificial surfaces for natural grass would cost millions of dollars up front and then millions more to maintain. Time will tell if the NFL feels that expense is necessary.

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