Former NFL player says playing on turf fields felt like 'car crashes'

It’s no secret NFL players are trying to get the league to get rid of artificial turf fields, so they can play primarily on natural grass.

Lorenzo Alexander played 15 seasons in the NFL, so he spent plenty of time on both fake and real turf.

The former linebacker would take natural grass every time.

Many players have blamed artificial turf for causing soft tissue injuries.


Lorenzo Alexander in 2019

Lorenzo Alexander of the Buffalo Bills runs on the field before a game against the New York Jets at New Era Field Dec. 29, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

“It’s significant. … I can tell you that the way I felt when I played on turf was a lot different [than on grass]. I feel like I went through twice the car crashes when I was hitting the guy and then hitting the hard surface,” Alexander told OutKick Thursday. “You always feel better after getting off the [natural] grass [compared to artificial turf].

With these stadiums, they’re always thinking about, ‘How can we make more money, how can we get more events at our venue?’ So, that’s probably why they shifted to artificial turf because it’s easier to contain, and the consistency is better than grass. So, hopefully we can figure out what’s the best way to move forward … because [real grass] is definitely better for the longevity of the player.”

NFL logo on field

The NFL logo on the field before a game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium Oct. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Several players blamed Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury on the turf at MetLife Stadium, even though the stadium brought in a new surface because of past injuries there. Earlier this week, Garrett Wilson sounded off on his home stadium’s playing field, calling it “garbage” after he was injured.

The NFLPA called for a ban on slit-film turf fields last year, and both Kelce brothers called for the league to shift to natural grass at all 30 stadiums.

“Take care of your players, man. It is so ridiculous, my feeling of my body after a game on turf than the feeling of my body after a game on grass,” Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said on his podcast at the time. 

“I can only imagine if the game I just played against Tennessee was on turf. Like, I barely walked out of that thing and I know it’s magnified by 10 whenever I play on turf. Every single step in the fourth quarter you feel in the knees and in the joints and in the ankles – at least this is just for me. I hate playing on turf. I think it’s silly.”

Lorenzo Alexander against the Giants

Outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) of the Buffalo Bills rushes against offensive guard Will Hernandez (71) of the New York Giants in the fourth quarter of a game Sept. 15, 2019, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.  (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)


“I think it’s time you all take some of that money y’all make off of us and invest it in grass fields for every team around the league,” Jason Kelce said, adding it’s a “leaguewide” opinion.

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