The NFL’s latest charge of non-contact accidents to the knee, ankle and foot is roughly the identical on pure and synthetic enjoying surfaces, in keeping with inside information reviewed Tuesday by ESPN.
The numbers contradict anecdotal observations this season from a large swath of gamers, brokers and coaches who’ve referred to as for the league to transform all surfaces to grass in response to a sequence of high-profile accidents on synthetic turf. However the NFL has no plans to take action, Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones mentioned Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan, citing the present information.
“Under no circumstances,” mentioned Jones, whose staff performs in certainly one of 16 NFL stadiums with a synthetic floor. “And it is not as a result of we now have the floor that we now have. Our league stats do not see points with the sort floor that we now have versus pure grass. We do not see points. No details bear that out.”
The NFL and NFLPA use a third-party firm, IQVIA, to compile and analyze information on each harm suffered throughout each season. Their joint floor committee makes use of the information to match accidents in every of the 30 stadiums the league performs in, paying specific consideration to accidents that happen with out contact and will probably be attributed to the floor itself.
These accidents are categorized as non-contact and to the decrease extremities: knees, ankles and toes. ESPN obtained a chart that plotted these accidents over the previous 4 seasons.
Knowledge compiled for the NFL and NFLPA reveals that harm charges on non-contact accidents to decrease extremities are statistically the identical on synthetic turf vs. pure surfaces. Necessary context within the ongoing debate. pic.twitter.com/DAsPWBEdqC
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) November 9, 2022
As just lately as 2019, the speed of such accidents was notably increased on synthetic turf fields than grass. However the distinction started narrowing in 2020, and by 2021, the numbers had been virtually the identical. Synthetic surfaces had an incident charge of .042 per 100 in 2021, whereas the speed for pure surfaces was .041 per 100.
That ratio “replicated” throughout the 2022 preseason, in keeping with Jeff Miller, the NFL’s govt vp of communications, public affairs and coverage. Full information for 2022 will likely be compiled on the finish of the season.
“The takeaway from all of this information is that the dialogue between artificial surfaces and pure grass surfaces is not actually the argument,” Miller mentioned. “What we’re attempting to do is lower accidents on each. As a common matter, taking a look at artificial versus pure does not actually present us the data we have to attempt to drive these harm charges down.”
It isn’t totally clear why the speed distinction narrowed, though a part of the reason being that accidents on grass elevated from 2018 to 2021. Miller famous there may be “extra dynamism” within the synthetic turf market, and that stadiums are ordering replacements on common of each two or three years. He additionally mentioned the NFL and NFLPA are working with discipline managers to optimize look after the turf.
The NFL/NFLPA floor committee offered its findings to house owners throughout final month’s assembly in New York, however the particulars had not beforehand been publicized. Within the interim, gamers and coaches have been talking out about accidents on synthetic turf.
Most just lately, after the Inexperienced Bay Packers misplaced pass-rusher Rashan Gary to a non-contact ACL harm at Detroit’s Ford Area, Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell tweeted: “I feel it is time y’all take a few of the cash y’all make off us and put money into grass fields for each staff across the league. The turf is actually like concrete it has no give if you plant.”
Beforehand, Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp mentioned the distinction between the 2 surfaces is “not even shut.”
After Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf and Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson each left a recreation at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles with non-contact knee accidents, Kupp added: “I do know there’s stuff going across the league proper now, there’s some points. Arms down, we needs to be enjoying on grass. Arms down, we needs to be on grass. And that is all I’ll say.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll mentioned the difficulty is one thing “we positively want to take a look at this actually critically within the offseason once more.”
“It has been a dialogue earlier than,” Carroll mentioned. “We have to do what’s proper, and we have got to do what’s most secure for the gamers, and we have got to make these selections. I might pound on the drum for that.”
ESPN’s Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.