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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


49ers show frustration and concern with MetLife Stadium turf after injury-filled afternoon

Sep 20, 2020 at 2:53 PM--


The last thing the San Francisco 49ers want right now is to play another game on the turf at MetLife Stadium after what they went through Sunday afternoon, but that's exactly what they'll have to do next week when they come back there to face the New York Giants.

The 49ers were able to cruise Sunday to a 31-13 win over the New York Jets on the stadium's new turf, which was installed over the offseason. Both the 49ers and Jets came out of Sunday's game with a number of injuries, and while not all of those may be able to be blamed on the turf, the 49ers made it clear following the game they found the new surface to be problematic.

"It's new turf, new field turf. It's always pretty tricky to play on until it's nice and -- not beat up, but nice and worn down and broken in," offensive tackle Trent Williams said. "Being a few of the first games to ever play on this turf, you never want to blame the injuries on that, but it is hard. Being a football player in the trenches and you kind of put your foot down in the ground, with natural grass you've got dirt. It gives a little bit. With the turf, it gets stuck. If your weight gets going the wrong way, things can happen like we've seen today.

"So yeah, playing on the new turf is pretty tricky. I don't want to say it's dangerous, but it's close to it."


49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game that one of his team's injuries, a mild MCL sprain to running back Raheem Mostert, was as a result of some issues that came from the turf. Shanahan doesn't know the extent to which the other injuries (DL Nick Bosa - knee/ACL; QB Jimmy Garoppolo - ankle; RB Tevin Coleman - knee; DL Solomon Thomas - knee) can be blamed on the turf, but he did say his players noticed some issues with the surface before and during the game.

"Who knows? I don't know exactly why it happened," Shanahan said. "But as far as the feeling that was on the sidelines, I know that's as many knee injuries and ankle stuff and people getting caught on the turf as I've ever been a part of. From what I saw, the other team did too. I know our players talked about it the entire game, just how sticky the turf was. I think that was the first time people played on it, I think. But yeah, it was something our guys were concerned about right away. The results definitely made that a lot stronger. Unfortunately it's a place we've got to go back to next week."

49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead seemed particularly disappointed after the game due to the injuries that took place and even sent out a tweet saying the turf was "trash". Armstead told reporters he has some anxiety over the fact he and the 49ers will have to play on the same surface next week.


"A lot of anxiety," Armstead said. "We see guys you love go down and get hurt and we've got to come back here and play again on the surface, that's anxiety-provoking to see that happen and know you have to deal with it again."

The 49ers don't have much of a choice at this point but to move forward and prepare to return to MetLife Stadium next Sunday (1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT), which they obviously don't seem very thrilled about. But linebacker Fred Warner said the team won't be able to dwell on the turf problem too much, or else they could see more injuries take place next week.

"I noticed it during pregame for sure. It seemed like it was a little stickier out there," Warner said. "The turf was kind of spongy. But in terms of us playing there next week, it's something you can't really think about. If you go out there and your mind's on 'Oh, we have to play on this turf, we have to play on this turf,' you're bound to get hurt, especially slowing down, playing slow. You've just got to play fast, play your game, and let the rest handle itself."





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