clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is Gillette Stadium's FieldTurf Safe?

When Wes Welker tore his ACL in the final game of the regular season, Bill Belichick was not reserved with his criticism of the Texans' field:

The turf down there is terrible. It's terrible. It's just inconsistent . . . I really think it's one of the worst fields I've seen.

Belichick may have to eat some of his words, however, if the Giants and Vikings are to be believed. While FieldTurf has received enough positive press that a majority of the league's teams are using it, it's coming under fire for its safety, particularly in regards to ACL injuries.

Each side has its own scientific study claiming that the FieldTurf is either safe or unsafe, and each side claims the other's study is flawed. But generally you have to wonder why it is that it's only these two teams that are so down on FieldTurf. The Giants can even be explained away as taking an isolated incident (where the field was actually improperly used) and confusing correlation and causation—Giants general manager Jerry Reese even voiced his support for the FieldTurf after the incident. What's left is Minnesota, and for them I have no answer.

 

Tom Brady's lost 2008 alone is example enough to show why it makes no sense for teams to either not do their due diligence or even make the wrong choice based on the money involved. A team takes the field at home at least eight times a year, and with each player representing as much as an eight figure investment, it's hard to believe that teams would ignore the impact FieldTurf could have on their team.

 

Without any sort of medical expertise, it's impossible to say for sure who is in the "right" here, but for what it's worth, Brady and the Patriots have performed just fine and avoided random non-contact injuries on their home field, and the Revolution players seem to like the new stuff. With circumstantial and logical evidence weighing heavily in the favor of the FieldTurf, I don't think there's much chance that the Patriots rush to find an alternative anytime soon, nor any need for them to.