Free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. continues to be a free agent because he suffered a non-contact ACL tear on the artificial surface at SoFi Stadium during the Super Bowl. Last night, Giant receiver Sterling Shepard suffered a reportedly serious knee injury without contact on the artificial surface at MetLife Stadium.
OBJ made this observation about artificial surfaces on Twitter, after the Shepard injury: “Just get rid of it all the fkngether bro. Billions made off this game I can’t understand why we can’t play on grass. That shxt is rough. Prayers up for my brother. Shxt just hurt my heart.”
For Shepard, the injury happened not only without contact but also without even making a cut.
It continues to be confounding that the NFL isn’t more obsessive about the quality of all playing surfaces. While the game has come a long way from playing on green cement, grass continues to the be best option (as long as there’s an adequate drainage system in place). Given the money that keeps pouring into the coffers of the owners, why doesn’t every stadium have a state-of-the-art grass system?
Even if the owners don’t care about their players as human beings (and at least some surely don’t), they care about their investments. Why not protect them by putting them on the best possible playing surfaces?
It’s nonsensical. It’s unfortunate. And the reality is that it’s likely not changing.