Cincinnati Bengals

NFLPA calls field at Paycor Stadium, ‘unsafe,’ wants it replaced

NEW YORK, NY — The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is calling on multiple stadiums to replace their fields due to unsafe turf, including Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, according to our news partner WCPO.

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This comes after NFLPA President J.C. Tretter wrote a letter to the NFL on November 12.

He says there are multiple ways the league and stadiums can improve conditions for players’ health and safety, including the modification and ban of “Slit Film Turf,” WCPO says.

Slit film turf is currently used in seven NFL stadiums, including Paycor Stadium.

The turf, “has statistically higher in-game injury rates compared to all other surfaces,” Tretter said.

This includes an increased amount of non-contact injuries, missed time injuries, lower extremity injuries and foot/ankle injuries, according to Tretter.

The other NFL teams with slit film turf are the New York Giants, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, WCPO reports.

“The injuries on slit film are completely avoidable — both the NFL and NFLPA experts agree on the data — and yet the NFL will not protect players from subpar surface,” Tretter said.

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Jeff Miller, the executive vice president of communications, public affairs & policy for the NFL, disputed the NFLPA’s conclusions.

“As the NFLPA knows from the meeting of our Joint Field Surface Safety & Performance Committee earlier this month, there was no difference between the number of injuries on synthetic surfaces versus grass,” Miller said in an emailed statement.

“While slit film surfaces, one type of synthetic material, have two to three more injuries per year, most of them are ankle sprains — a low-burden injury — whereas slit film also sees a lower rate of fewer high-burden ACL injuries compared to other synthetic fields.”

Miller said joint experts for the league and NFLPA did not recommend any changes to surfaces at the committee meeting, but agreed more study is needed.