The San Francisco 49ers did what they were supposed to do and blew out the New York Jets. Unfortunately, the win came with a ton of negatives on the injury front.
San Francisco will be without superstar defensive lineman Nick Bosa for the rest of the season, while quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could miss some time after suffering a high ankle sprain.
Solomon Thomas also injured his knee, while running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman also left the game early after getting hurt. The Niners were not happy with the turf at MetLife Stadium. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and many 49ers players voiced their displeasure after the contest.
“I know that’s as many knee injuries and ankle stuff and people getting caught on the turf as I have ever been a part of,” Shanahan said. “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. ... It was something our guys were concerned about right away, and the results definitely made that a lot stronger.”
The surface at MetLife was installed over the summer. The Jets and New York Giants scrimmaged on the field, and the G-Men played their home opener there in Week 1.
“I know our players talked about it the entire game, just how sticky the turf was, and I think that was the first time people played on it, I think,” Shanahan said. “But yeah, it was something our guys were concerned about right away. And the results definitely made that a lot stronger ... Unfortunately, this is a place we’ve got to go back to next week.”
Left tackle Trent Williams has played in 121 games over his career, and he felt the surface at MetLife was dangerous for the players.
“It’s 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,” he 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 [Sunday].
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead was visibly upset after the game. He voiced his frustrations during his post-game media availability and on Twitter about having to play there again on Sunday.
“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.”
@nfl fix this trash met life turf . 2020 is so wack— Arik Armstead (@arikarmstead) September 20, 2020
Deebo Samuel and D.J. Jones also took to social media:
Been saying something about turf ain’t nothing new the most injuries happen on it proven fact ‼️. I pray my brothers good— Deebo (@19problemz) September 20, 2020
That turf gotta go— DJ Jones (@djjones_44) September 20, 2020
We will see if the NFL actually does anything to make the turf safer for the players ahead of the game against the Giants.
Per Mike Florio, the NFL is going to examine the turf at MetLife Stadium:
Per a league source, the NFL’s field operations department will take a closer look at the situation based on the concerns raised by the 49ers.
There’s a very good reason for doing that: The 49ers play there again next Sunday, against the Giants.
Not everyone believes there’s an issue with the turf. 49ers tight end Jordan Reed (more on my conversation with him coming later) said he didn’t notice anything amiss with the turf (unfortunate typo originally missed, eventually rectified). Also, a league source tells PFT that the Steelers had no complaints after playing there on Monday night. The Giants likewise had no issues with the field in Week One against Pittsburgh.
And as a Jets source told PFT after their first game of the year at MetLife Stadium, “We were too busy getting our faces kicked in to worry about the turf.”