Add Aaron Rodgers to the list of NFL players calling for the league to switch to all grass fields in the interest of player safety. Rodgers said he doesn't have the confidence in the league making that move on its own and that a vote of players is likely the only way for it to happen.
Here's what Rodgers had to say on Tuesday:
"This to me is player safety. [Expanding to 17 games] was about monetary gains, so this would be putting your money where your mouth is if player safety is important."
"No, honestly, I don't have a lot of confidence when it comes to the league making that decision without some sort of big vote and gripes from certain owners who don't want to spend the money."
The NFLPA has tried to bring attention to the disparity in injuries suffered on slit-film turf and grass. The union has called for the immediate replacement of slit-film turf, due to the vastly higher injury rates. That form of turn is used by the New York Giants, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL claims the rate of non-contact injuries on the two surfaces is roughly the same. The union obviously disagrees with that assessment.
"I do think it's time to go all grass throughout the league. I think you would see less of these noncontact injuries that we see on some of the surfaces, and I think that it'd be a good step in the right direction towards player safety to make the requirement for every field to be grass."
If the real issue here is owners having to pay more for grass maintenance, then the NFL should cover the cost for them. Keeping star players on the field more is in the interest of all parties involved. It would be a huge benefit to the league and would be fully worth the expenditure.