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#pounditTuesday, February 20, 2024

Ex-Aaron Rodgers teammate trashes MetLife Stadium turf

David Bakhtiari in a Packers hat

Nov 1, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Green Bay Packers tackle David Bakhtiari (69) walks the sidelines late in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Packer 29-10. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury moments into his season debut at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. One of Rodgers’ former teammates believes the venue’s turf could have played a role in the injury.

Green Bay Packers tackle David Bakhtiari didn’t mince words when he called out the NFL as the Jets played on without Rodgers Monday. The Packers star blamed the league for not getting rid of artificial turf, which he suggests played a role in Rodgers’ injury.

“Congrats NFL. How many more players have to get hurt on ARTIFICIAL TURF??! You care more about soccer players than us. You plan to remove all artificial turf for the World Cup coming up. So clearly it’s feasible,” said Bakhtiari after the Rodgers injury. “I’m sick of this..Do better!”

It’s not the first time that the MetLife Stadium turf has been blamed for injuries. The NFL responded to the previous controversy and asserted that there was nothing wrong with the turf.

Bakhtiari was also alluding in his post on X to how FIFA is forcing venues to change their playing surfaces to natural grass when hosting the World Cup in 2026. Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, NRG Stadium in Houston and MetLife Stadium will all be putting natural grass in temporarily in order to host the World Cup. He’s wondering why MetLife can make the change for soccer players but not football players.

Earlier this year, MetLife Stadium changed the artificial turf from slit film to monofilament turf, which had been a request from the players’ union.

Rodgers had said in August that he prefers playing on grass, but MetLife Stadium’s artificial turf was a good one.

“I’m a fan of grass, for sure. Got to admit that. I like wearing seven studs and playing on grass, but I feel like the field — it’s supposedly the newest and the greatest. There’s obviously been a lot of conversation around grass field compared to turf field, but I feel like the other night, it’s been one of the best surfaces I’ve seen that’s artificial,” Rodgers said in August, via ESPN.

“It’s our surface, so we’re going to enjoy it. I’ve always felt a little faster on turf, so I look forward to that.”

Rodgers was initially listed as questionable to return before being ruled out for the rest of the game against the Jets. His side managed to pull off the win without him, toppling the Buffalo Bills 22-16 in overtime.


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