Aaron Rodgers Calls for NFL to Mandate All Games Be Played on Natural Grass Surfaces

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the latest NFL star to speak out in favor of the league playing all its games on natural grass surfaces.

“I do think it’s time to go all grass throughout the league,” Rodgers said Tuesday, via ESPN. “I think you would see less of these noncontact injuries that we see on some of the surfaces. And I think that it’d be a good step in the right direction towards player safety to make the requirement for every field to be grass.”

Rodgers’ comments come as the NFLPA has called for an “Immediate Replacement and Ban of all Slit Film Turf,” citing a higher rate of injuries on those surfaces. Seven teams (Giants, Jets, Lions, Vikings, Saints, Colts, Bengals) use the surface, the players’ union says.

The NFL, meanwhile, sees no difference in the amount of non-contact injuries to the knee, ankle and foot on natural and artificial playing surfaces.

Rodgers, who was outspoken against the league adding another game to the schedule in 2021, doesn’t have faith the NFL will make the change to one playing surface.

“No, honestly,” Rodgers said. “I don’t have a lot of confidence when it comes to the league making that decision without some sort of big vote and gripes from certain owners who don’t want to spend the money.”

Aaron Rodgers Joins Fellow NFL Stars in Speaking Out

More and more players have been willing to speak up, Rodgers the latest. This past Saturday, it was Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp. Kupp said on Twitter that it’s time for some open dialogue in regards to playing surfaces.

“I believe that we — and all teams — should be playing on grass,” Kupp wrote on Twitter. “This is an age-old issue, and I believe the time to address the problem is now! Let’s have the conversation.”

Kupp’s sentiments were later echoed by Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz.

“We know the data – our union and the league agree that we should eliminate slit film turf,” Schultz said. “The NFL isn’t willing to mandate this change. So we as players are going to keep talking about this issue until it changes.”