When Aaron Rodgers suffered an injury during his first game as a New York Jet, some wondered how much of a role the artificial turf played in the 39-year-old’s season-ending injury.
Doug Soldat is a turfgrass extension specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He discussed how some sports teams at the local and professional level are converting to artificial turf.
“They can handle a lot of traffic, and you can use them in all weather conditions,” Soldat said.
Soldat pointed to some peer-reviewed studies, including a 2018 study published by The American Journal of Sports Medicine. It found that playing on synthetic turf resulted in 16% more lower extremity injuries per game than playing on natural turf.
“Artificial turf has more traction. So when the foot is planted and players push off of it the foot doesn’t slip. So some of that force is transferred to the joints, and that’s why the injury rates are higher.” Can.” Soult said.
However, sports injuries are unfortunately part of the game.
On Tuesday, the Jets head coach said he did not believe artificial turf was a factor in Rodgers’ injury.
Former student-athlete Danielle Herrick said, “I remember playing indoors and my cleats getting stuck to the indoor turf. Both of those have different safety issues.”
Herrick grew up playing football in the town of West Allis, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee.
Herrick said, “I would still choose natural grass over artificial turf. It’s just a part of the game.”
Scripps News Milwaukee contacted the Synthetic Turf Council for comment. President and CEO Melanie Taylor released the following statement:
“Synthetic turf is a highly researched product that communities, athletic departments and sports organizations alike choose because of the consistent playing surface it provides. Every aspect of our sectors has been reviewed by independent experts and multi-governmental bodies.
This story was originally published by Mary Jo Olah Scripps News Milwaukee.