George Kittle Calls for the NFL to Ban “Crappy” Turf Fields
San Franciso 49ers tight end George Kittle is asking the NFL to regulate the types of turf fields allowed in each stadium. Instead of banning turf, Kittle proposed that the NFL makes all fields have the same turf in an effort to provide a uniform playing field.
“The thing that just confuses me is if you’re not going to mandate grass, then why aren’t turf fields the exact same turf so guys get used to playing on the same turf everywhere? But every field has a different turf,” Kittle said, via Tristi Rodriguez of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “And so you’re playing on a different surface. NBA guys don’t play on different wood, what are we doing? Hockey guys don’t play on different ices all the time. It’s ice. So, I just wish we played on a surface that was similar every single week in, week out so your body won’t just be dealing with different, crappy turf.”
Kittle’s comments on turf fields come after a handful of 49ers players were injured against the Carolina Panthers, who play at Bank of America Stadium, which has a turf field. These injuries included lower body injuries to defensive end Nick Bosa, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and kicker Robbie Gould.
The chance for injuries on turf fields is higher for teams that traditionally play on grass fields. This includes the 49ers who play on grass at Levi Stadium.
Quote via NBCSportsBayArea.com:
“I thought it was an OK turf. But turf’s turf. It is what it is,” Kittle said. “I’d much rather play on grass. That’s why I love Jed York. We have the nicest grass in the NFL.”
The discussion of banning turf fields in the NFL has gained traction over recent weeks. Most notably, Odell Beckham Jr., a player with a history of ACL injuries, commented on the turf at MetLife Stadium after Sterling Shepard tore his ACL. Since then, the relationship between turf fields and injuries has continued to be talked about.
Kittle has long been a voice for varying strategies that could improve player health. In the past, he has advocated for the NFL to add an additional bye week.