John Mara will include players in turf discussions as Giants review annual injury plague

Giants players ideally would like grass at MetLife Stadium, not the “new synthetic surface” that stadium officials recently promised to install in 2023.

Some players also believe they should be consulted about the planned turf turnover that impacts them more than anyone.

“One hundred percent,” said wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who tore his left ACL this season on a non-contact play on the turf. “I mean, we’re the ones that are playing on it. So it definitely should be something they approach us about and see our thoughts.”

Good news: Giants co-owner John Mara told the Daily News this week through a team spokesman that he expects to consult his players during the process.

“The next field in the stadium is the subject of ongoing discussion between the Jets, the stadium and us,” the spokesman relayed on Mara’s behalf. “John has heard from the players and other experts about playing surfaces as part of his roles on the player safety and health committee, competition committee and management council.

“He expects to have conversations with our players as we move along in the process of selecting a new field,” the statement added.

Mara’s plan to solicit players’ insight is noteworthy because that is not required protocol for this type of decision.

An NFL players’ association committee is always involved in these conversations. And teams’ union reps are kept in the loop (the Giants’ is safety Julian Love).

But individual players traditionally are not primary voices in these discussions, and they certainly don’t have approval power or sign-off to block a decision.

A lot of parties will be involved in this upcoming MetLife Stadium surface change. Stadium officials, the Giants and the Jets stay involved jointly.

Still, players’ complaints around the league about turf – and the MetLife Stadium turf in particular – have reached a deafening crescendo.

“Billion dolla business, can’t buy grass,” Baltimore Ravens receiver Rashod Bateman tweeted, with a clown face emoji, after Giants rookie Wan’Dale Robinson tore his right ACL at MetLife Stadium recently.

So it would be foolish to push ahead without player input.

Who knows: the turf might even deter Odell Beckham Jr. from coming back to New Jersey, given that he’s torn his left ACL twice already.

“GET RID OF TURF,” Beckham tweeted after seeing his good friend, Bills pass rusher Von Miller, hurt his knee on Detroit’s synthetic surface.

“You want that grass,” Giants receiver Kenny Golladay told The News. “It’s better. It doesn’t matter that [someone says] this turf is better [than another]. Grass is way more forgiving. With turf, you get stuck a bit in it. And if you think about it, on turf, whatever force you’re putting into the ground is shooting right back up into you.”

As the Giants organization researches what to do about the playing surface, though, they also are contending with an even larger issue:

They are annually one of the most injured teams in the NFL. This year is no different. And it’s not just the turf.


The Giants have been in the NFL’s bottom third teams for most injuries …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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