We noted yesterday that the FieldTurf at the New Meadowlands Stadium may be to blame for the torn ACL suffered by Giants receiver Domenik Hixon on Tuesday. Now a couple of Hixon’s teammates have come forward to say the new turf doesn’t feel right.
Giants safety Antrel Rolle and wide receiver Steve Smith both told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com that they think the FieldTurf contributed to Hixon’s injury.
“I was right there when it happened and I saw it right away,” Rolle said. “And I was like, ‘Damn, it don’t look good.’ He didn’t make a cut or anything. It just got caught in the turf.”
Smith said the new FieldTurf at the new stadium feels different from FieldTurf at other stadiums, like it hasn’t been completely broken in yet.
“I thought it was real slippery,” Smith said. “We were all slipping and stuff. Hopefully it settles in when more people do stuff on it.”
Chip Namias, a spokesman for FieldTurf, acknowledged to ESPNNewYork.com that it typically takes a few weeks for FieldTurf to settle in. But Giants General Manager Jerry Reese said he doesn’t think the FieldTurf caused the injury.
But whether FieldTurf was to blame or whether Hixon was just unlucky and could have suffered his injury on any surface, this is something the players’ union should make an issue of: There’s nothing more important to any labor union than safe working conditions for its members, and some NFL Players’ Association members believe the working conditions at the new Giants and Jets stadium are less than ideal.