Playing surface at FedEx Field continues to cause concerns

Getty Images

The playing surface at FedEx Field looked bad on Thanksgiving night. It played poorly, too; on the throw from quarterback Kirk Cousins that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, Cousins’ left foot seemed to get stuck in the turf.

It probably doesn’t look like a professional NFL field should,” Cousins said Friday on 106.7 The Fan in D.C., via NBC Sports Washington. “If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we’ve got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That’s probably going to be a bigger challenge.”

Cousins, who tiptoed around the question of whether the field contributed to the interception, has become resigned to the fact that, as the year goes on, the playing surface will get rougher and rougher.

“I don’t know why it is that way or what causes it,” Cousins said. “I’ve kind of learned to accept it and understand it’s part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason.”

Coach Jay Gruden disagreed with Cousins’ assessment, but Gruden acknowledged that he’s not in the best position to evaluate the field.

“No, I just heard about it today,” Gruden told reporters when asked if he has concerns about the quality of the playing surface. “Kirk I guess was talking about it a little bit, but I didn’t notice it. I’m not out there with cleats on. I’m just on the sideline standing there. I’ll just leave that up to the grounds crew and the players and let them hash it out.”

Gruden, unlike Cousins, was willing to admit that the playing surface may have affected the interception.

“Yeah, it did get caught there a little bit, you could see it slip a little bit there,” Gruden said. “It very well could have.”

Washington hosts Arizona on December 17 and Denver on December 24. It very well could be that the field will be even worse for those two games.

23 responses to “Playing surface at FedEx Field continues to cause concerns

  1. “I’m not out there with cleats on. I’m just on the sideline standing there.”

    This is the first time I’ve seen a head coach who didn’t express concern for the for the field his players go to work on every week. Just because he doesn’t play means he doesn’t try to ensure that the playing surface is safe enough to ensure the health of his players? He sounds like a dope.

  2. At least it wasn’t a serious injury this time. That field has put a lot of players on IR and you have to wonder why the league doesn’t demand they do something about it.

  3. Looked better than most fields I ever got to play on. Didn’t see many hillocks, bald patches, stones, puddles, or mud lakes. They even had some proper lines drawn on it! Seriously guys, cleat accordingly and play to the conditions. Maybe wear big heavy boots like I had too! All these young stars want to wear fancy trainers and prance around on billiard table greens that look nice on video.

  4. Funny this was never an issue at the old RFK being in the same growing zone. There were numerous articles written that the grass at RFK used to be the greenest, softest yet strongest grass in sports — including baseball, soccer and golf. If you’ve ever seen the Orange Bowl in Miami or the Mile High Stadium in Denver, you know this is quite an honor. Green grass when everyone else in DC had brown grass. It was a special blend,” from Burnett, who studied agronomy at the University of Maryland. “We’re talking 1,005 square feet of 419 Bermuda overseeded with blends of rye.””The idea is to come up with a blend of grass that can stand the enormous stress of professional football and still look good on national television”

    The rye, is for color, and bermuda is for strength. “Heavy roots makes for overall good footing,” Burnett always considered he had problems if he saw a clump of grass come up. Before every game they would get down on hands and knees and comb every inch of the field.

  5. I love Kirk, but he stumbled because he gagged a little under a perceived pressure that if you look at the play, was not there. On the turf, it is brown but very thick (think bermuda golf courses in the south in winter) This wasn’t a turf with torn up sod, he stumbled because of its thickness not its slickness or bareness. Players catch cleats all the time. This was not caused by bad turf.

  6. You could clearly see it on television. I’m a big fan of real grass and outdoor stadiums, weather is part of football, but is it really not possible to maintain it through an entire season? I’d imagine there’s technologies available to keep the field in good shape, isn’t there? What do others do?

  7. Play any level of tackle football and the field conditions are talked about ad nauseum throughout the league before and after games like, “Remember Waco? We didn’t even have lines and half the field was a puddle, thats when Josh tore his ACL”

    Coaches, owners, trainers and especially players talk about it all the time.

    UNACCEPTABLE at this level of football. If you cant hire a competent grounds crew, install turf. I dont care what you think about players in the 50s and toughness, if you aren’t currently playing football or especially if you’ve never played football your opinion is absolutely irrelevant. Its a real thing down here in the trenches man its our knees not yours.

    I cant believe that I actually feel bad for professional football players but in this case I do.

  8. batesbruce is spot on. The field had nothing to do with Cousins’ interception. He obviously couldn’t decide if he wanted to run or throw and didn’t have his footwork correct. I’ve never seen a guy receive the benefit of so many excuses. A couple of years ago it was the wind in the meadowlands that caused his bad throws. Last year, it was the fact that it was only his second year as a starter.

    No matter what, its never ever Kirk’s fault.

  9. negadelphianinjersey says:
    November 24, 2017 at 7:44 pm
    Booth Review, you must be confused then. The NFL is no longer tackle football, come on.
    ————————-

    Touche.

  10. Dick Butkus played in rough conditions no problem. Beta men were beat down like nails that stick up back then. The de/masculination of our society is accelerating. Kids playing Atari instead of playing outside. When I landed on Iwo Jima you didn’t hear me complaining the beach was too pebbly. No I grabbed my BAR and started cleaning out hiding holes.

  11. I’m guessing that most guys who say they played on worse when they were younger weren’t professional football players. Fans are being charged enormous amounts to fund what is supposed to be a modern professional presentation. We all used to play baseball on uneven fields and basketball on rims without nets in parking lots, but that’s no reason for a professional franchise to present itself the same way.

  12. This field was in terrible condition for Thursday Nights game. Groundskeepers should be fired and Dan Snyder is responsible for this debacle. He could repave the field with one hundred dollar bills. Just saying.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!