Inside the NFL turf debate: Injuries, safety measures, problems
ESPN speaks to experts including Mark C. Drakos, MD, foot and ankle surgeon and medical director of HSS Long Island shares his thoughts on turf safety in the NFL and research on whether grass or artificial turf is the most appropriate playing service.
Dr. Drakos had a fellowship with the Giants and was on the committee charged with making a recommendation about different synthetic turf surfaces for MetLife Stadium -- home of the Giants and Jets -- before its inaugural season in 2010. Dr. Drakos said grass wasn't an option. The two teams had played on synthetic turf for all but three seasons since they began sharing the old Giants Stadium when it opened in 1976. Dr. Drakos wasn't in the room when the surface was chosen, but he gave his opinion ahead of time. "Me and probably six or seven other doctors were sitting there listening to all these different presentations [from turf companies]," Dr. Drakos said. "And at the end, I said, 'Listen, from a medical standpoint, we should do grass.'"
MetLife stuck with synthetic turf because natural grass did not hold up for the busy fall schedule with two teams, 20 NFL home games and the Northeast climate.
But then and now, Dr. Drakos' research found grass is best for players' health, particularly when it comes to ankle and noncontact knee injuries. He said: "The data is pretty conclusive." He also said turf is stickier and less forgiving, which can cause the foot to catch and send torque up to the knee.
Read the full article at ESPN.com.