Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger blames the surface at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo for the injury to his teammate, David DeCastro.
DeCastro, the guard the Steelers selected in the first round of this year’s draft, suffered what the Steelers fear is a severe knee injury against the Bills. And Roethlisberger said afterward that he doesn’t think DeCastro would have suffered that injury on a grass field.
“It’s just FieldTurf — this is a great field, but FieldTurf is just killing guys because they can’t get their feet out of the ground,” Roethlisberger said on NFL Network after the game. “It’s just another reason we should get rid of FieldTurf.”
Although FieldTurf is almost universally considered a big improvement over the old-school AstroTurf, which was basically like playing on fuzzy green concrete, players are mixed about whether FieldTurf is as good as grass. Some players, like Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, have said grass should be ripped out and replaced with FieldTurf. Others, like former Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins, have said they dislike FieldTurf so much that they would only play for a team that had grass.
Roethlisberger is strongly in the anti-FieldTurf camp. After Saturday night’s injury, DeCastro may be, too.
UPDATE, AUGUST 27: Roethlisberger’s rant at FieldTurf was misdirected: The Bills actually use a different type of artificial surface, A-Turf Titan.