MetLife Stadium to change turf in 2023 amid player complaints: report

MetLife Stadium to change turf in 2023 amid player complaints: report

MetLife Stadium is changing its turf prior to the 2023-24 NFL season, but it won’t be natural grass. 

The stadium is in the process of reviewing proposals to replace its FieldTurf, which has had its fair share of complaints from players and coaches over the years, according to ESPN. 

“We evaluate our field each season and historically have replaced our playing surface every 3-4 years,” MetLife Stadium said in a statement via ESPN. “We have made the decision to replace the field in 2023 and are currently reviewing proposals from multiple vendors for a new synthetic surface.”

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A general view of MetLife Stadium prior to a game between the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles Dec. 5, 2021 in East Rutherford, N.J.
(Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

New York Giants safety and player rep Julian Love told NJ Advance Media Wednesday the turf would be changed. Love added that “the stats have shown we are on one of the worst fields in the league.”

With injuries occurring throughout the league on turf fields, players have been vocal this season about wanting natural grass fields. The natural surface is easier on the joints. 

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The NFLPA has gotten involved, releasing a statement to ESPN in hopes MetLife Stadium chooses the new playing surface wisely. 

“The players have been vocal and clear about this issue, and it is a good step to hear them that change needs to be made,” the statement said. “The change will not come soon enough, though, for players who will be at greater risk the rest of the season. We expect that whatever surface gets installed next year will meet the highest safety and performance standards possible.”

Sterling Shepard (3) of the New York Giants is carted off the field after being injured against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium Sept. 26, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Sterling Shepard (3) of the New York Giants is carted off the field after being injured against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium Sept. 26, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

ESPN added that non-contact injuries to the knee, ankle and foot this season are roughly the same on natural and artificial surfaces. MetLife Stadium, in particular, has seen far too many non-contact injuries, including one to Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who was jogging down the field when he tore his ACL. 

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Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was vocal about the MetLife turf earlier this season when he saw corner Kyle Fuller tear his ACL, ending his season. 

“That turf was matted down, it was packed down, it was a little tight,” he said via ESPN. “Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. I don’t know, but that’s what I saw. It was a little tough.”

Two seasons ago, the San Francisco 49ers ripped MetLife’s turf after watching five players go down with injuries in the same game against the New York Jets, including Pro Bowler Nick Bosa, who tore his ACL.

A view of the field before the first half of a preseason game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium Aug. 21, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.

A view of the field before the first half of a preseason game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium Aug. 21, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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The Giants still have four regular-season games remaining at home, including this Sunday against the Detroit Lions, while the Jets have three games left in East Rutherford, N.J.

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