He plays

It’s safe to say that David Bakhtiari will never be a beer partner with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Green Bay Packers All-Pro left tackle is walking right after Goodell in the reignited on-turf controversy that has gained significant steam since his former teammate and good friend Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury Monday during a Week 1 game on artificial turf at MetLife Stadium.

Bakhtiari has been one of many players who have spoken out this week, calling on the NFL to make all playing surfaces grass, with safety as the No. 1 reason.

About half of the stadiums use artificial turf.

Bakhtiari immediately spoke out on social media and in interviews after Rodgers’ injury but ramped up his response after Goodell addressed the topic when he went on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday to interview Stephen A. Smith.

“What kind of frog poison are commissioners smoking?!?,” Bakhtiari wrote in the comments section of a Sports Illustrated Instagram graphic posted Wednesday after Goodell claimed some players like turf on turf.

Smith asked Goodell if players had confirmed they wanted to play on grass, what would the NFL’s response to that be.

“They’ve said they (want grass) in a lot of cases, but you also have other players who like to play on grass because it’s faster,” Goodell said. “You have mixed opinions. What we want is to rely on science. We want to go with what’s best from an injury prevention standpoint to give our players the best possible surface to play on.”

Bakhtiari took to his Instagram account and also reposted the same Sports Illustrated infographic which contained a photo of Goodell with a headline saying some players prefer turf to natural grass with the caption: “Remember them???? Literally, I want to know.” . from!”

What does science say?

Based on NFL injury data collected from 2012 to 2018 from the NFL Players Association, players experienced a higher lower extremity contact injury rate during practices and games played on artificial turf and there was a higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries on turf Compared to natural surfaces.

“Specifically, players have a 28% higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries when playing on artificial turf,” the NFLPA notes on its website. “Among those non-contact injuries, players have a 32% higher rate of non-contact knee injuries on turf and a staggering 69% higher rate of non-contact foot/ankle injuries on turf than on turf.”

The NFLPA also sent a letter this week to the NFL calling for action. While Goodell noted that the league is taking many things into consideration, it does not appear that there will be a quick fix.

If so, there is no doubt that Bakhtiari will remain one of the spokespersons in this fight.

JJ Watt reacts: Where the former NFL star stands on the issue

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