During a guest spot on 94WIP’s Morning Show in Philadelphia with Angelo Cataldi, Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes, Kelce was asked about his favorite — or least favorite — NFL experiences at road stadiums.
While Lambeau Field was No. 1 on the list, MetLife Stadium came in dead last.
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Kelce Blasts MetLife for ‘Terrible Surface’
“Least favorite, hands down, not even close, MetLife Stadium,” Kelce stated on the show.
He explained further: “It’s a terrible surface. I’m surprised the league hasn’t stepped in at this point. But I think it’s really bad. There’s a higher injury rate on that surface for years now. I don’t know if it’s because there [are] two teams playing on it or what’s going on there but it’s easily the least favorite.”
Over the course of his 11-year career with the Eagles, Kelce has played many games at MetLife Stadium since its creation in 2010 — facing the Giants at least once on the road every season that he was healthy.
He’s not the first player to question the MetLife turf and he’s unlikely to be the last. Few fans or players would disagree with the four-time All-Pro either, as many athletes have suffered major injuries on this surface time and time again.
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MetLife Narrative Is Bad for Business
Not only is this a bad look for the Jets and Giants organizations in terms of player safety, but this well-known narrative could impact guys wanting to sign here.
Kyle Shanahan and some of the San Francisco 49ers complained publicly about the MetLife turf in 2020 after a rash of injuries against the Jets. The Niners were set to play the Giants the following weekend in a back-to-back New Jersey scenario and defensive lineman Arik Armstead told reporters he had a “lot of anxiety” about returning to the stadium.
Nick Bosa was perhaps the biggest star to get hurt in that game and his torn ACL sidelined him for the rest of the year. “It was something our guys were concerned about right away,” Shanahan stated after the game. “And the results definitely made that a lot stronger. Unfortunately, this is a place we got to go back to next week.”
The Giants brought in new turf in 2016 according to Giants Wire, but many fans and players have been calling for natural grass for a long time. President of the NFL Players Association JC Tretter petitioned the NFL to mandate a leaguewide switch to grass in 2020. He wrote:
The data supports the anecdotes you’ll hear from me and other players: artificial turf is significantly harder on the body than grass. Based on NFL injury data collected from 2012 to 2018, not only was the contact injury rate for lower extremities higher during practices and games held on artificial turf, NFL players consistently experienced a much higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries on turf compared to natural surfaces. Specifically, players have a 28% higher rate of non-contact lower extremity injuries when playing on artificial turf. Of those non-contact injuries, players have a 32% higher rate of non-contact knee injuries on turf and a staggering 69% higher rate of non-contact foot/ankle injuries on turf compared to grass.
These turf injuries are killing the onfield product and in terms of MetLife, they’re also wrecking any chance of the Jets or Giants winning a Super Bowl anytime soon.
If our stars can’t stay healthy, these two franchises will not have any sustained success. Maybe Woody Johnson should focus on that instead of bidding billions of dollars to purchase an English Premier League soccer club.