The turf at MetLife Stadium is fine.
So says coach Joe Judge and his Giants players.
“We haven’t had any issues with it,’’ safety Jabrill Peppers said.
The 49ers beg to differ. They lost defensive stars Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas to torn ACL knee injuries in Sunday’s 31-13 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium. They also saw quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo forced out with a high ankle sprain and running back Raheem Mostert leave with a knee injury.
There is new artificial turf at MetLife Stadium this season.
“It was something our guys were concerned about right away,’’ 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “And the results definitely made that stronger.”
The NFL put out a statement Monday saying an independent field inspector checked out the field Sept. 12 and certified “the field was in compliance with all applicable NFL policies.’’ The Giants and Steelers opened their seasons two nights later at MetLife Stadium and did not report any issues with the field.
“Our guys have been on that turf, we had camp in the stadium, it was kind of our home for that month or so,’’ Judge said. “We had our players on that turf every day for some kind of walk-through, competitive practice, and [in] the leading up to the game last week, not a single player said anything negative to me along the way at all about any of the facilities and, specifically, the turf. I’ve been on it myself with the team. I think it’s a good surface. It’s our home. We’re excited to play there next Sunday.’’
The 49ers are at MetLife in back-to-back weeks, as they face the Giants there on Sunday. Shanahan said the condition of the field could play a role in his decision to use star tight end George Kittle, who is dealing with a sprained knee.
“I think every field kind of presents its own kind of problems,’’ Peppers said. “That’s why you go out there pregame, get a good feel for the turf. Is it a fast track? Do you need your studs or your molded cleats? Things like that.’’
WR Golden Tate took a look at the fateful final play in the 17-13 loss to the Bears and decided it was “close call.’’ He was flagged for offensive pass interference on CB Buster Skrine. The Giants believed Tate was first interfered with by S Eddie Jackson.
“Yeah, just my initial thought, once I saw the flag, was I thought the flag came out pretty late,’’ Tate said. “I thought it was on Jackson or whoever was on my back. It’s unfortunate. Everything happened so fast. I was being competitive with Buster and just trying to find a way to get open.’’
The Giants tried to draw the Bears offside in the fourth quarter but never had a chance, as C Nick Gates failed to sell the play at all because he never put his hand on the ball. “I think he was out there over-communicating looking for a check,’’ Judge said.