The NFL’s Houston Texans announced Friday that they’re replacing their natural grass turf with synthetic turf for the remainder of the 2015 season.
The Texans will resurface the field at NRG Stadium immediately.
Texans GM Rick Smith announces the team is ditching its grass surface and going to artificial turf for at least the rest of 2015.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 18, 2015
“Our players have always enjoyed playing on natural grass here and I think they would prefer to play on natural grass,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said. “It’s our responsibility to protect our players from any risk. We will install a quality field. We will play on that field for the remainder of the 2015 season.”
NRG Stadium has used a natural grass tray system since 2002. The system requires the grass to be transported in 8-square-foot trays in and out of the stadium. Below is a video showing some of the installation process.
Since it was first installed, the system has come under criticism. Some players have alleged injuries, coaches have complained, a former NFL player even filed a lawsuit against the stadium’s owners.
The primary complaint seems to be visible seams in the grass. Most recently, the Kansas City Chiefs took issue with the turf.
Despite going to synthetic turf for the rest of the season, Smith isn’t giving up on natural grass as an option.
“We’re hopeful that we can get with the [Harris County Sports & Convention Corp.] and SMG [which operates the stadium for the county] and find a solution for the tray system to ensure we can return to a natural surface moving forward,” Smith said.
The Texans return to NRG Stadium to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.