As if playing sports aren’t already challenging enough, there’s the possibility of injury when you step onto the field.

As if playing sports aren’t already challenging enough, there’s the possibility of injury when you step onto the field.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 7:11 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES {KWQC} – As if playing sports aren’t already challenging enough, there’s the possibility of injury when you step onto the field.

On Monday Night Football, the new look New York Jets and new Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, took the field against the Buffalo Bills on the 22nd anniversary of September 11. As Rodgers ran onto the field carrying the American Flag, that was all the action Rodgers would see that night. Rodgers recorded only 4 plays before slipping on the slick turf at MetLife Stadium and suffering a season-ending torn achilles injury.

With Rodgers’ injury, numerous players have voiced their frustration about the turf fields and demands the NFL to change their fields back to traditional grass.

NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has already spoke on the issue stating, “Something that we’re working to try to see; is that a better surface for us?” Because you have to look at climate too. This is not just about, is the field going to be good in September? Is it also going to be good in December and January? That is where we make decisions. On the basis of science, not because I see an injury that I don’t like.”

Here in the Quad Cities, numerous stadiums feature both turf field and grass fields. With the recent injuries in professional sports, it raises questions for schools like Assumption, Pleasant Valley, or Bettendorf, if hosting games on turf fields is beneficial?

“It’s consistent,” said Assumption High School Head Football Coach, Wade King. “You’re going to get the same surface every time. Not all turf is the same but we feel really good about what we have here. I think, it’s held up very well. Grass fields are great, but there’s a lot of maintenance, it’s hard to keep those fields at the level that you really need them especially if you have multiple teams playing on them.”

Traditional grass fields featured at Browning Field in Moline, hosts Moline High School’s sports. As football has officially kicked off, Head Football Coach, Mike Morrissey enjoys the authentic aspect of his players playing on grass, but it does suggest safety concerns.

“I think it’s unique for us and obviously, it is a hot topic around the country right now, because of the that type of injury that happens,” said Morrissey. “You don’t know if it’s if it’s turf base, or if it’s something that could have been prevented on the grass field. We do have a grass field, all of our fields in our district are grass and so it’s a little bit unique for what we have compared to what everybody else in the Quad Cities has.”

From a medical standpoint, sports medicine Doctor Thomas Bollaert says it’s all about proper preparation.

“I think it’s a matter of understanding and having the proper equipment if you’re on turf fields,” said Dr. Bollaert. “Knowing what the proper equipment is protecting your skin against the slides, having the right type of cleats on so they’re not gripping too much, and then same thing with grass. You have to just read the surfaces correctly. So, proper fitting gear and whether it be grass or turf, having the proper maintenance of that playing surface.”

Though Assumption High School already has injured players, Coach King reassured that the injuries were not caused by the condition of style of the field.

According to the National Football League Players association, players have a 28% higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries when playing on artificial turf versus grass fields.