San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan suggested the new MetLife Stadium turf may have contributed to the rash of injuries suffered in his team’s 31-13 blowout of the Jets on Sunday. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo left at halftime with a high ankle sprain, while defensive stalwarts Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are feared to have torn their ACLs. Running back Raheem Mostert left with an MCL sprain.
The Jets also were hit with injuries that could have been caused by the new carpet. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman didn’t return after suffering a knee injury in the second half.
“I don’t exactly know 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 a 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,” Shanahan continued. “Just how sticky the turf was. That was the first time people played on it, I think. It was something our guys were concerned about right away. And the results definitely made that a lot stronger. Unfortunately, it’s a place we got to go back to next week.”
The Giants and Jets held scrimmages at MetLife this summer before Joe Judge’s team played inside the stadium last Monday night. Steelers offensive lineman Zach Banner suffered a torn ACL in that game.
Niners defensive lineman Arik Armstead expressed his discontent on Twitter after the game: “@nfl fix this trash met life turf. 2020 is so wack”
“I think the turf was pretty thick,” Armstead told reporters afterward. “Guys seemed to be getting stuck in the ground more regularly. A bunch of guys went down, wasn’t real fun to be a part of.”
Armstead admitted that there’s “a lot of anxiety” about the 49ers returning to MetLife next week when they face the Giants.
“You see guys you love go down and get hurt and we have to come back here and play again on the same surface,” Armstead said. “That’s anxiety-provoking to know that you have to deal with that again.”
The old turf had been in place since 2013. The new turf includes an underground heating component that didn’t previously exist.
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