The San Francisco 49ers came away with a sizable 18-point victory over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium this past Sunday. Unfortunately, the win came at a steep price for the defending NFC Champions. Injuries riddled the Niners’ roster vs. Gang Green, with defensive ends Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas suffering suspected torn ACLs. Running backs Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert each suffered knee sprains, while Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sustained a high-ankle sprain.
Apparently, many of the Niners players see the MetLife turf as a key component to the raft of injuries endured in Week 2. This is certainly not good news considering San Francisco is set to take the field at MetLife once again, just one week after, to face off with the New York Giants, a prospect San Francisco is not all too pleased about.
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49ers ‘Scared’ & ‘Anxious’ About Playing on MetLife Turf
ESPN’s Dianna Russini has been in contact with numerous 49ers players since Sunday via text and has reported that “some of them are both afraid and anxious about playing on the turf again here at MetLife next week against the Giants.”
Russini also shared this exchange with pass-rusher Arik Armstead to Twitter on Monday:
#Niners Arik Armstead on playing on MetLife surface next week – "Anxiety provoking to see that happen and know that you have to deal with it again."
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) September 20, 2020
Armstead has been by far the most vocal of 49ers to voice their disdain for the turf at MetLife, telling San Jose Mercury News that “guys seemed to be getting stuck in the ground more than regularly. A bunch of our players went down. It wasn’t real fun to be a part of and see happen to your teammates.”
He also took to Twitter to direct his anger towards the NFL, asking for the league to “fix this trash met life turf,” before signing off his tweet with “2020 is so wack.”
@nfl fix this trash met life turf . 2020 is so wack
— Arik Armstead (@arikarmstead) September 20, 2020
Armstead wasn’t the only 49ers defender to question the turf. David Lombardi of The Athletic reported that linebacker Fred Warner described the MetLife turf as uniquely sticky and “spongy” during pregame.
MetLife Turf Passed Testing
Despite the 49ers’ disdain, officials from the NFL have noted that the turf at MetLife Stadium did in fact meet the necessary specifications and testing warranted to pass as a suitable playing surface ahead of the Niners’ game vs. the Jets.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shared the league’s statement on the matter via Twitter:
Here is where things stand from the NFL on the turf at MetLife Stadium. pic.twitter.com/oR0rVQz6Bx
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 21, 2020
While the field may have passed the protocol this past Sunday, that hasn’t stopped the 49ers from taking a closer look. San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman has reported that General Manager John Lynch has reached out to the NFL about the playing surface at MetLife and hopes “we’ll get answers back that will get our players to feel a little more at ease next week.”
Of the numerous injured players mentioned above, only Garoppolo seems to have a chance to take the field this Sunday vs. the Giants. Head coach Kyle Shanahan noted in a press conference that the ankle sprain is not as bad as the team initially thought.
The 49ers aren’t the only team taking this field this Sunday in New York without a number of their top playmakers. The Giants confirmed on Monday that running back Saquon Barkley did in fact tear his ACL in Week 2 and will miss the remainder of the 2020 NFL season. Sterling Shepard is also trending towards missing this coming weekend’s game after suffering a turf toe injury against the Bears.
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