“You care more about footballers”
David Bakhtiari was at a loss for words when his friend and former teammate Aaron Rodgers went down with the injury on Monday.
The longtime Green Bay Packers left tackle has made a clarion call for the league to install natural grass fields at all NFL stadiums.
“How many other players have to get hurt on artificial turf??!” Bakhtiari wrote on social media. “You care more about footballers than us. You’re planning to remove all the artificial turf for the next World Cup. So it’s clearly possible. I’m tired of this. Do better!”
Rodgers left Monday’s game in his first trip with the New York Jets after joining the team via trade from the Green Bay Packers. His left ankle apparently got caught in the turf during the tackle, so he left the field on a cart.
He is eventually seen wearing his walking boots. The X-rays were negative, but the Gates, Rodgers and the rest of the NFL world are eagerly awaiting the results of an MRI on Monday that will reveal any soft tissue and ligament damage.
Coach Robert Saleh said after the Jets’ 22-16 win that the team He fears an Achilles tendon injury.
“That’s not good,” Saleh told reporters.
Why don’t all NFL stadiums have natural grass?
Calls for natural turf in NFL stadiums are not new. Artificial turf has evolved significantly since the early days of AstroTurf, and some advocates argue that it is safer than playing on natural turf. Others believe it will get there eventually if it hasn’t already.
But skeptics abound – especially among players – often point to injuries like Rodgers’ as a reason for installing natural turf. Bakhtiari rightly pointed out that NFL stadiums hosting World Cup matches in 2026 will switch to natural grass to meet demanding World Cup standards. These stadiums include SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and AT&T Stadium in Dallas, both of which currently host NFL games on artificial turf.
MetLife Stadium has been a frequent target of critics following a series of injuries suffered by San Francisco 49ers players in a 2020 game against the Jets. Those calls have been answered – to some extent. Officials installed new turf at MetLife Stadium over the offseason.
But it is not a natural herb. It’s the latest iteration of artificial turf called the FieldTurf Core System that touts technology as the “first multi-layer polymer monofilament.”
The technology is no solace to Rodgers, Jets fans or longtime critics of the use of artificial turf of any kind.