Aaron Rodgers issues challenge to NFL over player injuries
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.
Asked Aaron Rodgers if he had any real confidence the NFL will ban field turf. He made it clear: He does not.
“This would be putting money where your mouth is if the league is really interested in player safety,” he says.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) November 15, 2022
“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.