HENDERSON, Texas — After the high-profile injury to Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers on a turf field Monday night, the NFL Players Association is now calling for all fields across the league to be made from natural grass. But what's safer, grass or turf?
Carlisle High School head athletic trainer Raquel Velasco has experience treating injuries on both turf and grass fields.
"And it always depends on, either if the grass is too wet, or the turf is well maintained," Velasco said. "So you have your conditions, and at the end of the day it can happen on each."
Velasco said in her experience, injuries usually have more to do with the quality of the field.
"If it is the surfaces, what is causing all this?," Velasco said. "Which, that’s where the research I think needs to be done."
With NFL players now asking for all fields to be made of grass, the questions begs, would Rodgers have been better off on a grass field instead of a turf one? Well, the experts aren’t so sure.
"Older studies that have shown that grass is safer, and I know there are some more recent studies that have shown that there’s no difference in turf vs. grass. So you know it’s just one of those ongoing debates that’s going to happen," said Dr. Jon-Michael Cline with Azalea Orthopedics.
Cline agreed that more research needs to be done. He also noted if you ask most players, they’d tell you they prefer grass, but much of that could do with how they grew up playing.
"Some athletes will be playing on grass their entire lives and then they go to turf and their bodies need to adjust," Velasco said. "That’s a switch for them."
At this point, it’s unclear whether the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell plan to honor the players’ request.