Following an injury-laden win over the New York Jets, members of the San Francisco 49ers took issue with East Rutherford’s playing surface.
Despite earning a one-sided win over the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers endured some tough losses in their Sunday visit to MetLife Stadium.
Four San Francisco starters left the 31-13 triumph over the Jets due to injury. Defensive stars Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas may have torn ACLs on back-to-back plays, each carted off the field in the first quarter. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo missed the second half with a high ankle sprain, as did running back Raheem Mostert.
While the missing starters didn’t seem to affect the Niners (1-1) on Sunday, long-term ailments could severely hinder their quest to return to the Super Bowl.
San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan suspected the artificial turf at MetLife Stadium as the culprit behind the injuries.
“I know our players talked about it the entire game,” Shanahan remarked, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “Just how sticky the turf was. That was the first time people played on it, I think. It was something our guys were concerned about right away. And the results definitely made that a lot stronger.”
Shanahan wasn’t the only San Francisco representative displeased with the playing surface. Defensive end Arik Armstead’s postgame tweet implored the NFL to investigate the situation.
@nfl fix this trash met life turf . 2020 is so wack
— Arik Armstead (@arikarmstead) September 20, 2020
The host Jets (0-2) were not spared from the medical carnage. Top receiver Breshad Perriman left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
“I don’t exactly know why (the injuries) happened,” Shanahan added, per Mehta. “But as far as the feeling that was on the sidelines, I know that’s as many knee injuries and ankle stuff and people getting caught on a turf as I’ve ever been a part of. From what I saw, the other team did too.”
The issue is particularly troubling for the 49ers, who will face the New York Giants at the same site next Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox). ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that 49ers players “are both afraid and anxious” about making the return trip.
I’ve been texting with players on the 49ers and some of them are both afraid and anxious about playing on the turf again here at Metlife next week against the Giants
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) September 20, 2020
MetLife Stadium has used FieldTurf Synthetic Turf since 2016. Other stadiums that employ the surface include the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Niners are set visit the former on November 15.
The Jets hit the road to battle the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS). Their next game in East Rutherford will be a Thursday night contest against Denver on October 1.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags