Tracy Walker believes artificial turf in Minnesota led to his torn Achilles

NFL: SEP 25 Lions at Vikings
Getty Images

Add Lions safety Tracy Walker to the list of players who think artificial turf increases their risk of injuries.

Walker, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Week Three at Minnesota, told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that he could feel during pregame warmups that his cleats were sticking awkwardly in the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium. That led him to change into a different pair of shoes, and he believes that all contributed to his season-ending injury.

“When I tore my Achilles, that was the first thing I thought about, like, ‘I switched cleats,’” Walker said. “So it’s just like, that’s — it could have been that. It could have been, I don’t know. That’s just my belief. I feel like that had a lot to do with it cause that day I remember, particularly, I don’t switch my cleats out and I remember Minnesota cause my new cleats were sticking, so I switched cleats.”

NFL players have grown increasingly vocal about their preference for playing on grass, while the league says injury data shows synthetic turf is no more dangerous. Walker is among those who think it’s past time for safer playing surfaces.

8 responses to “Tracy Walker believes artificial turf in Minnesota led to his torn Achilles

  1. The players need to start suing the owners, in this case the Wilf’s. Fake whatever will never have the properties of a grass fields where the dirt gives (and disperses blows to the head), synthetic, on concrete which isn’t good for banging the head off the turf, simply isn’t going to give leaving the weak point of the tendons, muscles and ligaments. Doesn’t matter how the owners wrap it, like repeated hits to the head does not not cause zero injuries, until they get sued they simply are not going to fork out more cash in the name of player safety.

  2. I don’t know, look at all the injuries the broncos have suffered this year and in the past 4 years. Most of those were on their grass practice field or grass stadium field

    I’d like to think the nfl is investigating this issue but I have my doubts. If there really is a problem with this turf, change it. They can afford it.

  3. But somehow the other thousands of players never have an issue with it including the home team that plays there the most.

  4. At the very least the Vikes could switch to the turf that causes fewer injuries, and I suspect they will since it’s changed out every couple of years. The Viking players obviously play on the same surface, and 7 more times than the Lions or other teams do, so it makes sense. Then again, compare the player games lost to injury between the Vikings and Lions and perhaps Walker should ask about the Lions’ own medical, training and conditioning staff.

  5. By his own words it was his fault for changing cleats. USB turf, like most stadiums have been fine since they switched to a more grass-like surface. There’s no freak injury history taking place at US Bank Stadium. This was his own fault.

  6. Maybe cleat mfgs need to make some advancements to their products. Schutt and riddell seem to make helmet improvements every year to help with reducing concussions. The speed flex and the F7 are light years ahead of the helmet used just a few years ago. Why shouldn’t the nfl and the nflpa expect Nike or under armor to do the same.

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.