The New York Jets’ trade for Aaron Rodgers this spring means several things, including the fact that he will play 14 games on artificial turf, a significant increase from the four he had with the Green Bay Packers in 2022.
“It’s a big difference for a guy who turned 40 in December and has some lower leg injuries, including calf strains,” an NFL team executive said. Athletic This summer.
But it’s unclear what role the MetLife Stadium turf played in the injury that knocked him out of the Jets’ “Monday Night Football” season-opening victory.
Jets coach Robert Saleh said after the game that the team feared Rodgers had suffered an Achilles injury. The quarterback is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday.
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In four snaps, Rodgers faced immediate pressure from a struggling Jets offensive line, and he went down miserably on a sack by Bills linebacker Leonard Floyd. But speculation about a changed turf this year was shot down the moment Rodgers was helped off the field. NFL players ignore their anxiety and artificial turf.
What did some of the other players who played Monday on MetLife’s new FieldTurf core surface think? We asked them.
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Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins: “I mentioned on the field that it was good. I don’t know what they did, but it was good. The ground is very good because the (old) turf was terrible. But it’s good.”
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Jets wide receiver and longtime Rodgers teammate Randall Cobb: “We wanted the NFL to protect the players with grass fields, but the NFL is more concerned with making money. Profit over people, that’s always been the case. I’ve never been a fan of turf. That’s my position.”
Jets linebacker CJ Mosley: “For me, the new turf is very soft, it feels on the feet and the knees. My feet feel better now than last year’s turf. So you feel it’s improved, but at the end of the day, grass is always better.
Jets running behind Breeze Hall: “Grass. That is my answer. We need grass.
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Jets running back Dalvin Cook: “I played on grass in Minnesota, so I know. I don’t think it’s bad here. It’s just wet. I slipped a little bit at first. I don’t think it’s bad. No complaints from me.”
Jets cornerback DJ Reid: “It definitely feels better. It’s a lot of beads, so it gets in your cleats. So you have to shake it, but it’s definitely softer than last year. It was definitely harder to play last year, so I can see that there’s more pressure on your knees (then).
Jets edge rusher Jermaine Johnson: “I’m not a fan of turf. It’s very difficult for athletes. I like grass. … I played in the South my whole college career, so grass is very forgiving. Your strides, anything accidental, grass will give. Turf doesn’t give, so it goes back into your body and does bad things.” So I’m not a big fan of grass, period.
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(Photo: Michael Owens/Getty Images)