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The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

Connor’s report

Does the NFL care about players and fan’s health?
Connors report
Connor Fitzimmons

In the past couple of years in the NFL, non-contact injuries have become more common with more teams turning to artificial turf. Turf is synthetic fibers that are made up to look like grass. Between natural grass and turf, scientists found that there are more knee and ankle injuries on turf fields than in natural grass. NFL teams use this because it’s cheaper and less maintenance.

The most famous injury was Odell Beckham Jr.’s ACL tear during the Super Bowl in 2022. Odell was running a route when his cleat got stuck and he tore his ACL. Since OBJ’s injury, 15 of the 30 NFL stadiums have changed to natural grass. In addition, turf causes turf burns that cause players to wear turf tape to prevent the burns. According to NCBI “Turf burn is caused by exposed skin sliding on artificial turf.” The most recent injury was in the 2024 Lions versus Rams game, where the Rams’ tight end Tyler Higbee was injured by a low hit from the Lion’s safety Kirby Joseph. The hit wasn’t dirty, but the injury was caused by Higbee’s cleat getting stuck in the turf. 

This has been an issue for this season, but for the past four or five seasons. Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey also had multiple injuries from New York Jets’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers with his Achilles tear to the Dolphins’ linebacker Jaelan Phillips and his ACL tear. 

Many NFL players have voiced their desire to change back to natural grass; the most spoken out players are former Eagles center Jason Kelce and Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Kelce stated “We need to get rid of turf altogether, I don’t want to hear it like it’s an indoor stadium. They make UV lights. You can grow grass inside” on his podcast.

While the NFL focused on cutting down concussions, they forgot about other injuries, not only from players but fans as well. 

The Wild Card game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs was anything but a comforting game. The temperature was negative four degrees Fahrenheit with a negative 20-degree wind chill. Not only was it dangerous for players like Patrick Mahomes’ and his helmet that cracked down the middle from the freezing temperatures, but fans out in the cold weather had beers and waters that had turned frozen. The Dolphins had 15 hospitalized resulting from the frigid temperatures. 

Another safety incident happened in 2022 when fans fell due to the railing breaking at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Commanders. Nobody was hurt, but the fans almost fell on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. After the situation, the NFL didn’t hold the Former Commander’s Owner Daniel Snyder accountable for his crumbling stadium.

These situations with both NFL players and fans have led people to believe that the NFL like any other company doesn’t care about the people that make them money, but only the money itself. They also don’t do anything about turf fields to keep their employees safe while working, which brings up the question: does the NFL only care about money?

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About the Contributor
Connor Fitzimmons, Reporter
Connor Fitzsimmons joined the Uncaged team this year. Fitzsimmons has played baseball all four years of high school. He enjoys watching any football game no matter what. He has also been accepted into St. Petersburg community college for journalism. Fitzsimmons also enjoys video games like Madden and 2k. Not only does he watch football, he also watches baseball games too. He has been to 3 out of 29 football stadiums, and 2 of 30 baseball stadiums. He also has a love for music and listens to country and rap mainly. His favorite artists are Zach Bryan, Morgan Wallen, Bigxthaplug, ThatmexicanOT, and Lil Tjay.
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