NFLPA will explore quality of FedEx Field playing surface

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The NFL and Washington are saying all the right things regarding the playing surface that looked all sorts of wrong on Thursday night. The NFL Players Association will be exploring the situation.

The union “will take a look at the matter,” a source familiar with the situation told the Washington Post.

“That turf has been an issue off and on for some time,” the unnamed source told the Post.

The NFL believes the field is and was fine. “NFL Football Operations personnel at the game observed no issues with the quality of the field, and we have received no complaints about the surface, either yesterday or today” NFL spokesman Michael Signora told the Post.

Team spokesman Tony Wyllie also defended the playing surface. “Our field was in good condition last night, although a recent freeze made the Bermuda grass turn brown between the numbers,” Wyllie said.

Of course, a recent freeze doesn’t explain quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ foot getting stuck in the turf in the instant before he threw a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, tying the game at 10 in the second half.

The failure of all teams to have high-quality playing surfaces continues to be one of the biggest oddities of the NFL, where billions in revenue are generated but yet not nearly enough is devoted to making every field look and play like Lambeau Field. Even if the owners don’t care about the players as human beings, the owners should care about them as the multi-million-dollar investments they are.

And while artificial playing surfaces have their share of flaws, FieldTurf is always better than a crappy grass field — especially when the grass field is so crappy that it can’t even stay green.

41 responses to “NFLPA will explore quality of FedEx Field playing surface

  1. I don’t understand why both sides don’t take playing surface more seriously, repeated offense of poor playing surface should result in fines and draft picks docked. Eventually they will get their act together or replace the grass with fieldturf or something more safe.

  2. While they’re at it, can the NFL also explore the quality of its officials (specifically Tony Corrente & crew)?

  3. As Washington fans know, the next time Official Redskin Toady Tony Wylie tells the truth will be the first time.

  4. It should be mandatory that if you host any other events at the stadium (soccer, concerts, college football) you must have an artificial playing surface.

    I understand that the owners, or municipalities who own the stadiums want to get as much income from the stadium as possible, but lets face it, the NFL team is the reason the stadium exists.

    Having a field in poor condition for the NFL game because U2 played a concert there 3 days earlier is just unacceptable. You would think the NFLPA would push for this….oh wait, they’re useless.

  5. UPDATE: Commissioner Roger Goodell has fined the field $37,500 for “repeatedly mis-representing the standards of quality expected from an NFL facility.” The field has yet to respond, though 2 un-named sources are cited as saying the field sides with Jerry Jones in any potential lawsuit against Goodell. Expect plenty of mud-slinging.

  6. Terrible field for a long time. Eagles CB Ronald Darby dislocated ankle Week 1 with NO CONTACT. Players tear hammys and achilles no contact – but a DISLOCATED ANKLE? Cousins fortunate he didn’t blow out an ankle on that throw.

    Time for league and NFLPA to demand higher standards for turf condition.

  7. A lack of green color doesn’t necessarily mean crappy as anyone who has seen Bermuda grass. It always turns brown in the fall yet remains fairly plush.

  8. “The failure of all teams to have high-quality playing surfaces continues to be one of the biggest oddities of the NFL, where billions in revenue are generated but yet not nearly enough is devoted to making every field look and play like Lambeau Field. Even if the owners don’t care about the players as human beings, the owners should care about them as the multi-million-dollar investments they are.”

    This, nailed it 110%. The Rooneys claim to be a class act, but have their guys playing on a trash pit of a field. These owners whine about players’ character flaws, but what does it say about the owners’ character to consistently ignore the poor playing surfaces for more than a decade? For every dollar they save in field maintenance costs, they are probably paying $5 in medical care and dead salary costs for the missed time.

  9. “Our field was in good condition last night, although a recent freeze made the Bermuda grass turn brown between the numbers”

    Did Tony Wyllie learn his craft from Sean Spicer or Ari Fleischer? They would be proud of that quote.

  10. On the other hand hasn’t it been true that more players get knees blown out on artificial turf? But yeah it looked as bad as my son’s high school field from the television cameras last night

  11. What’s to “explore”? I can tell you from here in the living room that they need to rip it out and start over.

  12. The NFL is still a joke. Fedex field has been terrible for last 20 some years. Soldier field floods, and the Raiders play on a baseball diamond, complete with infield.

  13. At first, I was surprised to see this–and I wondered how it would be possible that as rich as NFL owners are, how field conditions could even be a question.
    Then I remembered that some of the people who Run the NFL admitted that they did not know that inflatables lose air pressure in cold conditions.
    So I suppose it makes sense that some of them would neglect their own playing surfaces.

  14. We are talking Danny half a man Snyder here folks. For one fan to attend a Fedex field game in 2016 cost $$272.17 the highest average price in the league. For two tickets, two hot dogs, two beers and one parking spot it breaks down to $87.33 per ticket, $9 for a beer, $5 for a soft drink, $6 for a hot dog and $57.50 for parking. And remember, that’s not even for good seats.For that you get bad football played on the worst kept field in the league. Washington fans need to grab their pitchforks and drive the Half of Man from his castle by boycotting games.

  15. If the grass turns brown after a freeze then it’s not the right grass for that climate zone. Duh !

  16. I’m surprised Goodell hasn’t done anything, since a Manning is involved here. We all remember watching Peyton Manning get destroyed in foxboro in the playoffs, throwing pick after pick… and then the nfl made the pats change from natural grass to artificial turf to help Manning.

  17. Snyder does not own the field, the stadium authority does. He has no legal right to do anything at that stadium. Him ripping out the grass and putting in turf would open him to all sorts of legal issues.
    How many of you would tolerate your neighbor ripping out your lawn and installing turf? Oh, 99% of the commenters don’t have a lawn in their basements.

  18. The league should have a standard field surface for ALL teams and their stadiums. They have standards for the balls, the uniforms, helmets, etc. but the fields are up to municipalities and/or teams? That’s absurd.

  19. Lincoln Financial Field is 90 miles away and is always in pristine cindition. It ain’t that difficult to keep a good playing surface if you actually want to keep one.

  20. I was at the game, it was brown grass, not dirt. Easily seen from where I was sitting. Kirk already explained what happened to his foot, he hurried the throw because of the rush. Stop blaming the grass for the int, it hit the RB right in the hands, he was the reason it was int, not the brown grass.

  21. Goodell isn’t in charge of stadium surface issues. Only the truly ignorant seek to blame him for everything.

  22. The greats did just fine on natural grass. When I was in Nam we didn’t complain about the jungle being too muddy. We just kicked a daisy cutter out of the back of our Jolly Green Giant and worked with whatever LZ we could make.

  23. The Redskins are and will always be a natural turf team. Joe Gibbs used natural turf to his advantage. Nobody wanted to face those hogs in late December.

  24. Went to a game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore earlier this month. The field just LOOKED bad. Is this really the best that they can do? (Especially when compared to Camden Yards next door – what is going on here??)

  25. You would think the owners would want the fields to look good on television even if they don’t really care about the quality of the footing. Can digitally enhanced turf be far off?

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