NFL says it certified MetLife Stadium, obviously

Getty Images

The 49ers have concerns about the quality of the playing surface at MetLife Stadium. It’s a valid and important consideration, given that the 49ers play there again on Sunday, against the Giants.

The NFL says that the field was fine. Because the NFL’s field inspector, who inspected every field, found it to be fine.

Via Ian Rapoport of the NFL, the independent field inspector determined on September 12 that the field “was in compliance with all applicable NFL policies, including the Mandatory Practices for Artificial Surfaces.” Rapoport also notes that, within 72 hours of each game, “clubs must certify that their fields are in compliance with applicable policy, and that occurred in this instance.”

Of course it did. But every crappy field that we’ve ever seen during an NFL game in recent years (including the green-painted dirt at FedEx Field for the playoff game that resulted in Robert Griffin’s major knee injury) also was certified by the independent inspector and by the team. The existence of a certification process based on objective measurements and standards doesn’t magically make the field completely and totally acceptable.

In this specific case, the new turf at MetLife Stadium was certified by the Giants before Week One and the Jets before Week Two. As PFT reported last night, neither the Giants nor the Steelers had complaints about the surface after Monday night’s game.

As PFT also reported, NFL field operations would take a closer look at the surface, based on the 49ers’ complaints. Hopefully, the NFL won’t retreat from that position, opting instead to shout “serenity now” and to defer to a process that has proven to be far from foolproof, given that there have indeed been issues with fields in the past.

What’s the harm with taking a closer look at the surface and ensuring that every player’s safety will be respected and protected? If the field is fine, it’s a simple exercise to confirm it.

That said, if a closer look at the field determines that the field isn’t fine, an investigation that finds otherwise would create a real issue for those who previously certified that it was.

Still, the right thing to do would be to listen to the 49ers’ concerns, and to determine based on a careful examination of the field whether they have merit. The problem for the league is that doing so risks opening a box full of Pandora (#Simmism), and that the path of least resistance is to continue slamming the rubber stamp onto the form and declaring that there’s nothing to see here.

20 responses to “NFL says it certified MetLife Stadium, obviously

  1. No turf related injuries last week when Steelers and Giants played

    No turf related Jets injuries yesterday.

    Maybe the 49ers equipment staff sent their players out with the wrong cleats?

  2. Check out the Cardinals stadium turf too. The players were slipping around all day. Bad surface for a professional game.

  3. Nothing to lose in suing the NFL for negligence. They got deep pockets. They also don’t want to go through what happened regarding concussions. Players should be in line for a quick settlement and easy money.

  4. At least the Jets and Giants arent using the field as an excuse for their bad start to the season … who wins first ?

  5. Uh… only one out of the four teams to play on the field has had a problem with it this year. Thomas is the only 9er that got hurt without a significant injury history. The 9ers are full of excuses, at least their fan base is.

  6. Basa and Mostert didn’t have any significant injury history.

    It could just be bad luck, but I think that Saquon Barkley’s ACL might have been weakened on the Met life field, and gave way the next week.

    Quite frankly, I wish that the NFL would get rid of turf. It will never be as good as plain old grass and dirt.

  7. It’s 2020 already. No pro sports should be played on turf especially NFL games. Your talking about big, fast, strong athletes tackling each other full speed on a slab of cement with an artificial grass rug glued to it.

    If nobody sees anything wrong with that. Then lay down some carpet in
    your driveway and tackle your buddy at full speed. Let us know how that works out.

  8. There was much discussion on whether a single game preseason was too much to ask….the NFLPA went to bat….and had the usual backing….i said it was foolish to fight about this and it would hurt their members….i warned about the rash of injuries….here they are…notice it happened second week…thus the toll of playing back to back games at full tilt before allowing your body to ease into it as the preseason allows….

    Two preseason games, at least.

    This is on the NFLPA and their idiocy.

  9. You always look at the patterns for for the trend and the outlier.in this case the trend is teams playing on it just fine and the outlier is the 49rs. So I think any factors (allowing it wasn’t just simple bad luck) point to the 49rs themselves as being where to look for possible root causes more than the field.

  10. mackcarrington says:
    September 21, 2020 at 5:04 pm
    Nothing to lose in suing the NFL for negligence. They got deep pockets. They also don’t want to go through what happened regarding concussions. Players should be in line for a quick settlement and easy money.
    _____________________________________

    YES PLEASE DO, with all the other things going on it won’t take much more to send the NFL down the tubes!

  11. It wouldn’t be hard to use a formula that takes into account frequencies of injuries and their severity per stadium. The NFL should know that number for each stadium and work to improve it. If not for human decency’s sake, for the sake of protecting their investments in these players.

    Ok now I’ll go back to yelling at the cloud outside my house that Josh Allen sucks.

  12. Godzilla says:
    September 21, 2020 at 7:31 pm
    You always look at the patterns for for the trend and the outlier.in this case the trend is teams playing on it just fine and the outlier is the 49rs. So I think any factors (allowing it wasn’t just simple bad luck) point to the 49rs themselves as being where to look for possible root causes more than the field.
    _________________________________________

    Just like the Eagles the last few year and all of the injuries they’ve had, is it their practice field or the training & conditioning staff? I’d bet on the latter! And a short training camp with no pre-season didn’t help any either.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.