It’s impossible to prevent injuries in football, but one factor can play a significant factor in helping to limit them: the playing surface. As stadiums more frequently install artificial turf surfaces, players and coaches have shared their opinions on the differences between playing on turf and natural grass.
It’s always a hot topic, but Sunday’s Chargers-Seahawks game sparked the conversation again after J.C. Jackson and DK Metcalf suffered non-contact knee injuries. On Thursday, Cooper Kupp was asked for his take on the debate and he left no doubt about what he’d rather play on.
“It’s not even close,” Kupp said via ESPN. “I know there’s stuff going around the league right now, there’s some issues. Hands down, we should be playing on grass. Hands down, we should be on grass. And that’s all I’m going to say.”
SoFi Stadium, which just opened in 2020, has a turf field. And when Kupp was asked about his team’s home stadium being any different, he politely danced around the question by saying, “We should be on grass.”
Back in 2018, Kupp tore his ACL in Seattle while playing against the Seahawks at the then-CenturyLink Field. That injury occurred on a turf surface, too.
Of the 30 stadiums in the NFL, 14 use turf. Players feel there’s a greater risk of injury on artificial fields, but it doesn’t seem like a mandated change to grass is coming anytime soon.