49ers’ Nick Bosa sounds off on NFL’s artificial turf ‘problem’
Although 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa didn’t have to rehab a torn left ACL this offseason, the 24-year-old still isn’t happy about artificial turf’s role in his injury.
In September 2020, Bosa suffered a torn ACL in San Francisco’s Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium, which uses UBU Sports Speed Series S5-M Synthetic Turf on its field.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Bosa sounded off his frustration about turf and how playing on this surface is a real issue in the NFL.
“I really think FieldTurf is a problem in the NFL,” Bosa told Breer in the latest edition of Monday Morning Quarterback. “And the turf I played on in New York was brand new. It was super soft, and apparently, they rolled a cement roller over it twice after the game because we had two ACLs and a bunch of other injuries on it.”
The NFL Players Association has presented data which found that players have a 28 percent increased rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries while playing on artificial turf.
Players also face a 32 percent higher rate of non-contact knee injuries on turf and a 69 percent higher rate of non-contact foot or ankle injuries on turf than on grass.
Additionally, Bosa believes that if the NFL considered player safety regarding the field surface, they would be playing on grass rather than artificial turf, which most teams use.
The 49ers’ edge rusher cites how soccer clubs in top European leagues have their players on grass weekly during their season as an example for the NFL to replicate.
Bosa isn’t only voicing his frustrations to Breer; the 49ers defensive lineman has put his words into action. In February, he put together a petition to push the NFL to switch from turf to grass.
“Every player is one play away from altering their career forever when playing on turf,” Bosa tweeted. “I experienced the bad side of this and it could have been avoided.”
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The 49ers’ edge rusher isn’t alone in this fight to have grass in all NFL stadiums: teammates George Kittle and Deebo Samuel have backed Bosa, calling for the league to make changes to protect players from career-aging injuries.
It will be up to the NFL if they want to listen and modify the fields across the league.
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