The NFLPA President is calling for an “immediate replacement” and a ban on slotted foil turf, among other safety measures for players

NFLPA President JC Tretter is urging the NFL to improve playing surfaces to prevent unnecessary injuries. Tretter, following feedback from players who have raised concerns about some of the league’s playing surfaces, has asked the NFL for — among other things — an immediate ban on slotted sheeting turf.

Slotted film turf is currently used at six stadiums: MetLife Stadium (New York Giants and New York Jets), Ford Field (Detroit Lions), US Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings), Caesars Superdome (New Orleans Saints), Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis). Colts) and Paycor Stadium (Cincinnati Bengals).

In a letter issued through the NFLPA’s website, Tretter noted that games played on slotted foil turf have higher in-game injury rates compared to other playing surfaces. According to Tretter, non-contact injuries as well as foot and ankle injuries are among the injuries that statistically occur more frequently on slotted plastic turf.

“The NFL and its experts have agreed with this data and recognize that the slot film field is less secure,” Tretter wrote. “The Players’ Leadership wrote a letter to the NFL this week calling for the immediate removal of these fields and a future ban on both stadiums and practice fields. Not only has the NFL refused to mandate this change immediately, but it has also refused to mandate any departure from slot film at all in the future.”

Tretter is also asking the NFL not to allow play on fields with significant visual anomalies. He also wants the NFL to raise field standards and test the safety and performance of all field surfaces. Finally, Tretter asked the NFL to remove excess people and dangerous equipment from the sidelines.

“We play one of the most dangerous sports in the world, it shouldn’t be more dangerous because the clubs do nothing to eliminate the simple risk of injury on practice and playing areas,” Tretter wrote. “If the league really wants to use data to drive its decisions, do it now. We’ve been waiting for some of these changes for years.”

Tretter’s concerns about slit film turf are justified. Just ask the 49ers, who lost a multitude of players in 2020 after San Francisco played at MetLife Stadium, one of the stadiums currently using slotted liner turf. Richard Sherman, then a 49ers cornerback and current NFLPA vice president, called on the NFL to ban slit film turf while using his spotlight as an Amazon analyst for Thursday night games.

“It has to change immediately,” Sherman said via Cincinnati.com. “The league champions are committed to the safety of the players. And when there is clear evidence that a playing surface is dangerous – there are nine more serious injuries on that surface than on other turfs – you need to change it now.

“You jump right in. There were 15-18 other injuries this season alone. This data they put together didn’t take into account this season. … As a player, there’s no reason for that kind of risk. These are outdoor stadiums …You can change that. The indoor stadiums – cool, there’s an argument there. But if you can change the surface, it should be grass. … Player safety is non-negotiable.”



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