Steelers blame Hall of Fame field for Suisham injury

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The 2015 season will end on a field that’s not ready for the Super Bowl. It started on a field that wasn’t ready for prime time.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers are complaining about the quality of the FieldTurf at the venue previously known as Fawcett Stadium and recently renamed Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium for the season-ending knee injury suffered by kicker Shaun Suisham.

Via Bouchette, the players contend the turf caused Suisham to lose his footing while he ran down under his kickoff. Bouchette writes that the 11-year-old playing surface in Canton is only now being replaced, after an NFL game was played on it.

“I hated that turf,” safety Robert Golden said. “It was old, chewed up, very hard. I’m just happy most of our guys got off healthy. Now they’re redoing it? I don’t agree with that, that’s bad, putting us at risk like that on that turf.”

“I had a couple of plays there, especially in the middle of the field, where I was sliding,” fullback Will Johnson said. “I saw a lot of guys losing their footing.”

“It kind of just boggles my mind if they knew it was so bad that they were going to tear it up they wouldn’t have replaced it before we played on it,” tight end Matt Spaeth said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen something that bad . . . I wasn’t happy about it, that’s for sure.”

Hall of Fame spokesman Joe Horrigan told Bouchette that the playing surface passed the Clegg impact test administered by the NFL before the game. (As if they would have canceled the game if it didn’t.) Horrigan added that the turf is being removed as part of the stadium reconstruction that is due to start next month, which will result in the field being lowered by 12 feet.

At a time when the NFL has become more sensitive to player health and safety than ever before, players are still exposed to substandard field conditions on a regular basis. It’s enough to make people wonder whether the talk about player health and safety is just that.

118 responses to “Steelers blame Hall of Fame field for Suisham injury

  1. Makes sense. The Pittsburgh players are so accustomed to playing on that garbage turf in their stadium, they weren’t prepared for a “decent” playing surface…

  2. Well if the NFL league office administered the test, you know it was done in a competent and accurate way with player safety in mind.

  3. The Ginger Hammer and his NFL office minions don’t care about the players. So what if one or two get hurt because the NFL makes them play on a crappy field. As long as they get there dog and pony show.

  4. Here we go Pittsburgh!
    Start the whining and excuses already!
    Gonna be a long year!
    Maybe you guys can all skip onto the field with Justin Bieber again. That was awesome! Perhaps work on a little dance routine?

  5. What? Lol, ha – the Steelers complaining about turf? The Steelers who traditionally and pridefully I think have the absolute worst field in the entire NFL are complaining about turf?

  6. You could tell that the field was bad as backs were falling over their own feet at cutbacks but what was Suisham thinking running 40 yards downfield and getting in on a tackle near out of bounds in a pre-pre-season game anyway?

  7. Making money always trumps worker safety. Employers like talking about worker safety only when it benefits them, once it comes down to money leaving their pockets all bets are off.

  8. Of course it’s all talk. The only times an owner really cares about players health and safety is when it’s one of his own superstars that gets hurt, or when an injury costs him money. The rest is all PR.

    NFL =💰💰💰💰💰

  9. Garbage high school field, should have been replaced 5 years ago. I wouldn’t let my kid play there, let alone professionals.

    Hall of Shame Field

  10. Thats refreshing….figured they’d blame Brady or the Patriots and take away a draft choice.

    Sad when players get injured like that…Welker almost lost his career yrs ago in Houston, catching a seam.

  11. The Steelers have been front and center for the last 20 yrs on calling out the league and Goodell on their hypocrisy. Now that its convenient, the Patriots and their whiny fans have jumped on the wagon.

    The Steelers were the only team to vote against giving Goodell ultimate power in the last agreement. The Pats voted for it.

    We’re smarter.

  12. Steelers should blame themselves for not have a camp kicker on the roster. No way Suisham should have been the only kicker sounds like the team was trying to get him injured in some way.

  13. The same can be said for the Steelers. Would they be complaining about the field if they hadn’t suffered an injury?

  14. Sure, the turf on this field and several others is total crap, but fans should take heart knowing that we will go to every extent to ensure all footballs are inflated to precisely 13 psi. We cannot allow the integrity of the game to be jeopardized.

    R Goodell

  15. The Steelers are complaining about the field conditions? Any remember the Ravens/Steelers “Swamp Bowl” a few years ago? I’ll never forget the kickoff that landed on the turf – and stuck point down without bouncing .

  16. That’s rich…coming from the Steelers who perennially have one of the worst, if not THE worst playing fields in football. They end up playing in a sandbox midway through the season.

  17. Ain’t that calling the kettle black!!! Some nerve the Stealers have griping about that field when they play on the field at Heinz field, absolutely one of the worst in football

  18. The NFL’s talk about player safety is about legal posturing and image manipulation.


    Also, Google “your team cheats” to see that only the Denver Broncos have cheated more than the Steelers in the NFL!

    I think the Steelers miss Dr Rydze and the roids too!

  20. as a Steeler fan i find this complaint a bit ridiculous.
    Heinz Field is not known for having the best turf come November through the end of the year.

  21. Wow sounds like both teams were lucky that only Suisham sustained a serious injury. No excuse for the NFL not to address that field!

  22. Seems to me the real players made it out ok. Maybe the kicker was just uncoordinated and had no business tackling the big boys?

  23. This is a joke. We have all seen the highlight reel tape of Suisham making tackles on kickoffs and Ben Roethlisberger going nuts over it on the sidelines. Keep the kicker back and out of the play unless necessary. Suisham has always been aggressive and reckless on kickoffs and he is now paying for it.

  24. Its players are its most valuable asset.

    The NFL is foolish to put them at risk.

    Field conditions must be an issue for the NFLPA in its next collective bargaining agreement.

    If the league won’t watch out for the players, then the players must to do for themselves.

    One way to do so is to guarantee all contracts against field-related injuries.

  25. When Kevin Huber got injured (by a Steeler driving the crown of his helmet into Huber’s jaw), Steelers fans said it was his own fault and that he shouldn’t try to make a play if he didn’t want to risk getting hurt.

    Seems that line of reasoning doesn’t apply when it’s a Steeler heading to IR…

  26. “It’s enough to make people wonder whether the talk about player health and safety is just that.”

    I stopped wondering about that a while ago. What I wonder about now is how a collection of billionaires continues to view the players as fodder rather than seeing the benefit of protecting what they have invested in their human assets. I know several teams were inherited but a fair amount of the current owners had something to do with building their own fortunes and they didn’t get to be in the billionaire boys club by being careless with their assets. Curious thing that.

  27. Shouldn’t the critics be more focused on condition of fields where multiple games will soon be played, like Washington and San Francisco?

  28. Multi-billion dollar “non-profit” concerned with player safety. Can’t get a good field together. We see this a few times a year.
    Just doesn’t make sense. For such a successful organization, it’s full of incompetence and half baked procedures.

  29. They play on that piss poor grass at Heinz field all the time and now they gripe about another venue?? I’ve got pasture fields on my farm in better shape than Heinz field! Stop the whining, you’re starting to sound like the Baltimorons! Suisham has always shown his idiocy on kickoffs.

  30. Coaches have the responsibility to inspect the field before hand and the authority to decline to put the team in jeopardy if unsafe. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

  31. When Kevin Huber got injured (by a Steeler driving the crown of his helmet into Huber’s jaw), Steelers fans said it was his own fault and that he shouldn’t try to make a play if he didn’t want to risk getting hurt.

    Seems that line of reasoning doesn’t apply when it’s a Steeler heading to IR…

    Come on Percy wouldn’t it be smarter to say some Steeler fans? The kicker made a bone headed decision and suffered the consequences so stop your homer complaint. I hate little whiners!

  32. First of all, Heinz field WAS bad several years ago but has been great as of late. Secondly, a worn down natural surface might slow you down but it won’t cause knee and ankle injuries like field turf. The field in Canton shouldn’t be so bad, nil can afford to maintain it.

  33. bigbensbathroomseed says:
    Aug 12, 2015 8:57 AM
    Give me a break they play on that crappy Heinz field turf all year.

    It’s field turf not straight turf big difference.

  34. jtbsteeler says:
    Aug 12, 2015 8:33 AM
    The Steelers have been front and center for the last 20 yrs on calling out the league and Goodell on their hypocrisy. Now that its convenient, the Patriots and their whiny fans have jumped on the wagon.

    The Steelers were the only team to vote against giving Goodell ultimate power in the last agreement. The Pats voted for it.

    We’re smarter.

    The Pats not only voted for it but Brady was one of the biggest ones pushing everyone to sign it. Everyone wrote it off as the Steelers players hated Goodell and were tired of getting fined for playing football.

  35. Is a kicker on the football field? Yes he is so I’m not going to be mad at my kicker for playing football instead of running the other way. He has made that play a lot with no issues and if you watch the replay his foot clearly slides out from under him and then gets stepped on. Give me a break a kicker shouldn’t try and make tackles. Maybe that’s fine in every other city but he would get ripped apart in Pittsburgh if he didn’t at least try. Jeff Reed did the same thing. So let’s see get ripped apart by your fans or get ripped apart by fans of other teams who prefer their kickers wear dresses and kick the ball and run straight to the sidelines like a little girl. THIS IS FOOTBALL IT IS A CONTACT SPORT!

  36. Suisham should have never tried and make the tackle anyways. I blame Tomlin. No Kicker should try and make a tackle in a preseason game period. Dont blame the field.

  37. This is typical of the Steelers organization. They have to find excuses for when something goes wrong. Granted the field may not be in the best condition but the Rooneys looked at their own field. It is constantly one of the worst conditioned fields in the NFL. But that is ok because they know how to play on that field but when the tables are turned they cry about it. Also the bigger factor of this whole situation is the fact that Suisham was stupid enough to try and make a tackle in preseason when they could have asked Tomlin to tackle for him because he is good at tackling players on kickoff returns. Stay classy Pittsburgh.

  38. “As if they (the NFL) would have cancelled the game if the field hadn’t passed the (Clegg) test.”

    That was an excellent line.

  39. I don’t understand everyone that bags on the Steelers for their “trash” field.

    It’s frickin’ grass. Players probably don’t like it as well because it’s slower than turf but it does cause less injuries. It’s football, on grass, in the mud… as it should be.

  40. As a Steeler fan I have to believe the players. Listen ladies if any player should recognize a bad field it would be someone having played on one hence the immediate credibility of the Steelers comments….duh?

  41. “The kicker made a bone headed decision and suffered the consequences…

    Yes, Suisham did, didn’t he?

  42. I like how Pats fans here are saying stop whining and play with what you get. Yet want the Supreme Court to get involved in a punishment handed down from the person they voted would be allowed to give out said punishment.

    Maybe if you voiced your displeasure when you had a chance it would be more appropriate, rather than now?

  43. He should have walked off the field after the kickoff, the field may be crap but he should have been avoiding all contact.

    I love all the Steelers haters in these comment sections, The Black and gold live in your minds. It makes me feel good knowing everyone wishes their team was a contender EVERY year! And the bad years are still .500

    Down vote all you want, You’re just proving my point.

  44. “The kicker made a bone headed decision and suffered the consequences…

    Yes, Suisham did, didn’t he?

    0 0
    Report comment

    Just like the Bengal punter did so don’t whine about his injury as something evil by the Steelers….funny it’s different when it’s a Bengal? See what I did there Percy?

  45. All the people complaining about the crappy surface of Heinz field have never even been there. Keep repeating everything you hear. It makes you look really smart

  46. That’s hilarious coming from the team whose home field has the worst turf in the history of turf.

  47. Guys guys guys. Give the NFL a break. These poor owners can barely scratch a living so they need to be tax free (yeah yeah). They NEED public assistance and welfare for their large work places. Instead of solid gold railings, they’ve had to suffer with gold PLATED fixtures. Who are we to demand that they install cameras on goal/sidelines? Those are expensive bro.

  48. Vikings practice in Mankato on pristine grass fields and yet you didn’t hear a single Viking player or staff complain about the field.

    Hmmm, let me ponder that. Maybe the Steelers got their butts kicked and had to find something to whine about.

  49. their wright actually it could have been the field and the way suisham made the tackle he could have jammed his knee into the hard ground at the same time he making the tackle but we all know kickers can’t tackle

  50. It’s the curse. Karma for naming the field after an NFL owner that conspired to stop football during the lockout.

  51. This blaming of anything else for everything is becoming ridiculous. Maybe no one needs to be at fault for a freak injury. No one being satisfied until blame is assigned to something that doesn’t go right is people just being bad at life.

  52. The Rams lost a couple of players for the year when they played the Dolphins in Canton a few years ago, and then head coach Mike Martz vowed never to bring a team to Canton for the pre season game again.

    Why the NFL continues to play a game in a high school stadium in the midst of the ghetto that is Canton OH, much less keep the Pro Football Hall of Fame in that miserable community is beyond comprehension.

  53. NFL won’t replace bad fields because they “cost too much”

    Won’t spend a couple million dollars on sideline and end zone cameras to help make replays better.

    Will spend 5 million plus millions more in other fees and time wasted on the incredibly flawed Wells report and shame of a deflategate “investigation”

    Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture ?

  54. Nothing bad is ever the Steelers’ fault, and everything good is due to their dominance, rings, legacy, etc. Count on it like the sun rising tomorrow.

  55. “See what I did there Percy?”

    Actually, what I did was contrast the reaction of some most Steelers fans to Huber’s injury (point and laugh) with this reaction to Suisham’s injury (blame field conditions).

    I do see that what you did there… resort to an ad hominem and a red herring, since those are the only moves you know.

  56. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Mike Tomlin for not having a backup kicker on the roster and allowing him to do kickoffs in the second half of a meaningless game. Bad turf my butt!

  57. As a Ravens Fan, I don’t cheer any teams injuries. Not even the Steelers. The Steelers have had issues finding a good kicker and Suisham has been great there. The Steeler fans I know care much more about the K making field goals (in that Stadium especially) than making tackles.

    And I don’t like complaints about fields. Yes, many times Heinz field has been terrible later in the year. To me, it adds to to mystique and rivalry of playing in Pittsburgh. Being old enough to remember the conditions of fields in the 70’s, today’s fans and players are so spoiled. Enough already!

  58. Don’t blame the field. Blame Tomlin. It’s his job to tackle kick returners.LOL.

  59. mistrezzrachael says:
    Aug 12, 2015 8:32 AM
    Thats refreshing….figured they’d blame Brady or the Patriots and take away a draft choice.


    If the Pats and other teams around the league had been paying attention when the Steelers were saying that Goodell had too much power a few years back, Brady and the Patriots might not be in this mess now. Your loss.

    The worst thing about #DeflateGate: how it brings random Pats fans who’d never have commented on anything before out of the woodwork. Can’t wait until it’s resolved.

  60. All the money this league makes and they can’t have the best field to play on. Just terrible. There should be a standard that all teams must keep as well. These players do not need to get hurt like Billy Sims did by playing on a garbage field.

  61. Weren’t the Vikings on the field at the same time? I’m not sure how, but it’s their fault. It is.

  62. It’s funny that players who are accustomed to playing on questionable at Heinz field are complaing…..maybe they are qualified to recognize a bad field when they see one….ya think? Much ado about nothing …just another trolling opportunity for the intellectually challenged Raven and Bungalow boys.

  63. Same blames went to Buffalo’s field turf when Decastro injured his knee in the preseason. Pittsburgh and their fans are excellent at creating excuses for their soft and sorry players.

  64. Someone always has to be at fault for everything, especially these days in the NFL and especially when players are involved.

    Maybe the NFLPA will get to work pinning this one directly on Roger Goodell.

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