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NFLPA has data to support claim that more injuries occur on artificial turf fields

League says safety concerns aren't as simple as switching to natural grass

April 21, 2023  By Turf & Rec

Serious football injuries occur more frequently on artificial turf playing surfaces than on natural grass, the National Football League Players Association states.

The NFLPA has presented new data to back its claims. The data indicates a sharp increase since 2021 in the number of injuries on artificial turf versus natural grass.

Thirteen NFL teams currently have artificial turf in their stadiums.

Players’ association president J.C. Tretter said the Carolina Panthers failed a Clegg test on their home field before a home game last December against the Detroit Lions. The test measures field hardness, and players who competed in that game said the turf was as hard as concrete and wouldn’t allow players’ cleats to dig into the surface.


The NFL’s executive vice-president of communications said the matter isn’t as simple as switching to natural grass, adding there are fewer injuries occurring on some artificial fields than on some natural fields.

Several NFL coaches and players have expressed a preference for playing on a natural surface. The debate isn’t expected to be resolved any time soon, but Tretter says the league has the resources to address safety issues.


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