Texans decide to cut the grass, install artificial turf

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After perpetual complaints and perhaps an injury to last year’s No. 1 overall pick, the Texans are getting rid of their grass.

General Manager Rick Smith just announced that the team was scrapping their system which brought natural grass in on trays to a solid artificial surface. Players would certainly prefer to play on natural grass, but not when it featured large seams between the trays as it has there.

“Our field has tested very well in the past. That has not been the case this year,” Smith said, via the team’s official Twitter account: “We weren’t confident that the field would improve, and that’s the reason we are making the change.”

The decision was made after last week’s opener against the Chiefs, which featured complaints before the game even started. With the Texans in Charlotte this weekend to play the Panthers, they’re going to start work so they can have the new surface ready for the rest of their regular season schedule.

It’s a positive change, and frankly overdue. When Jadeveon Clowney’s rookie season went down the tubes because of a knee injury which one of his teammates attributed to the uneven grass surface, they should have done something out of self-preservation. But it apparently took seeing their system not work again this year to convince them.

59 responses to “Texans decide to cut the grass, install artificial turf

  1. As a Texans fan, all I can say is it’s about time. The field has been a problem for a few years now. I’ve always thought that it’s crazy to have such a nice stadium with such a crappy playing surface.

  2. “Do you prefer playing on grass or astroturf?”

    “I don’t know. I’ve never smoked astroturf.”

    ~Tug McGraw

  3. gopatriotsgo says:
    Sep 18, 2015 1:03 PM

    Are they changing it immediately?

    Or will they wait until the season is over?
    Changing it for the rest of this season.

  4. For those asking if it’s this season, read the article:

    “The decision was made after last week’s opener against the Chiefs, which featured complaints before the game even started. With the Texans in Charlotte this weekend to play the Panthers, they’re going to start work so they can have the new surface ready for the rest of their regular season schedule.”

  5. “Our field has tested very well in the past…”

    Clowney, Welker, Hartman, Belichik, Dungy, Cody and several others might disagree

  6. I believe they already have an artificial field for the stadium. When it hosts college games, the field is artificial but the Texans used the grass so the change shouldn’t take long at all.

  7. This is a toughie. Natural grass is better for your investments (players), but costs are “too high” for the bean counters.

    Stadium owners also want to have extra events at the otherwise empty blackhole stadiums as they need to recoup the public taxpayer money used to build these lavish palaces. However, a better system needs to be put in place for the protection of the main source of revenue: football teams.

  8. Jeez how many more injuries are we seeing since the advent of the “better than real grass” turf? Seems like way more.

  9. Are we sure it has nothing to do with the lawsuit filed by Brett Hartmann, the former Texans punter who hit one of those seams while jogging down the field and destroyed his knee?

    I’m sure their spending millions out of the kindness of their heart. Not litigation for negligence.

    As a Texans fan at the game against the Chiefs, you could clearly see the seams. It’s about time.

  10. Football is meant to be played on grass…but the multi-use venues cant keep permanent grass in place so it has to be moved in and out all the time. I’ve walked on that field before and the seams aren’t that bad, but I dont see it everyday and it could be worse at varying times. Also, the longer it stays in place, the more consistent the surface will be. But if it was just recently put back together after an event, then it will be very “seamy”. I walk by those trays they cultivate in a spot in a parking lot, and that grass is lush and beautiful green, but by the time it is put together in the stadium it obviously degrades. The turf will allow for a quick fix, but I hope they can figure out a way to get back to real grass somehow.

  11. heisthejuan says: Sep 18, 2015 1:06 PM

    “Too little. Too late.” -Wes Welker’s ACL


    And DeMeco Ryan’s Achilles tendon, twice.

  12. Might want check out a recent study implying a corolation between increased incidents of cancer and playing on these artificial turfs with the rubber pellets. Might be good for the players in the short run but not in the long run.

  13. now no one will ever get hurt at NRG again!! give me a break. injuries happen all the time at every stadium. there is no evidence that it is any worse at NRG.

    that said, i’m happy they are changing it so that the whinny brats that had some player on their team get hurt at the stadium 5 or 6 years ago shut-up.

  14. I love it when the teams pretend to be proactive when they are being extremely reactive. The surface has never been any good since the day the field was opened.

  15. I know most people remember the Welker acl tear there but von miller also tore his acl in non contact on that field the year the broncos went to the super bowl. Long overdue change

  16. Only for the rest of this season. The Texans still plan to use a grass field next year.
    Hope they go back to grass, but find a better system

  17. Its not a lawn…its not about money either…well scratch that….it is partially about money as the county won’t allow the stadium to sit there in off-season…it has to be making money by hosting events. So this forces them to have to remove the field for these events. Grass was grown in 10′ by 10′ trays and brought in with forklifts and put together like a puzzle. Sometimes these trays just dont fit together as tightly as they would like and there are apparently some gaps at the seams. It’s these seams that are the culprit of injuries. Field turf will also have seams, but not as many since it is rolled out in like 10ft strips…and since it isn’t as deep as the trays, the seams aren’t as prominent.

  18. decon49 says:
    Sep 18, 2015 2:09 PM

    Get it done york!

    Get it done york!… WITH CRASS… err I mean CLASS!


  19. The fields are only a problem if your organization is CHEAP. I’m not even a Packer fan YET they have no problem maintaining their grass field. The keyword is, “MAINTAINING!” Unfortunately being “costs” + multipurpose stadium = that awful stuff that is turf. One of the worst things to land on.

  20. They should’ve used the stuff from the other side of the fence, I hear that’s the way to go when you’re dealing with grass…

  21. McNair and the Texans arent cheap…that’s why they went with grass which actually costs more to maintain, its just a bad system that is not getting better. So they are scrapping the real stuff for artificial. They may ultimately return to the real grass once a better system is found.

  22. It seems to me there are fewer competent groundskeepers in this country than there are competent NFL quarterbacks

  23. They’re not changing for no other reason than injuries. It’s not just “other teams whining” because of injuries. Clowney may never be the same because of the injury caused by that “natural grass”.
    You Texans apologists need to get a dose of reality juice.

  24. DeMeco Ryans popped his Achilles on that field. He also tore his Achilles as a member of the Texans in 2010. This should have happened long ago

  25. Umm, I grew up in Houston and can promise that anything properly watered grows well in subtropical Houston. Do whatever the Cowboys do at AT&T and be done with it. Don’t give peeps a reason to dislike my hometown, please.

  26. What ever happened to just having a real, natural field? Bring in the grass in trays?

    Get out of the indoor environments and get back to what football should be… played outdoors, on dirt and grass in the fall/winter elements.

  27. Belechick is happy about this. He complained about it in the past because it prevented the Pats from cheating..

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