The new field at MetLife Stadium received positive reviews from players after the Jets and Giants played on it for the first time last weekend in a preseason contest.
According to ESPN, the new FieldTurf Core system was installed earlier this year, and players found it to be softer and more forgiving than the previous synthetic turf surface at the stadium.
“I’m a fan of grass, for sure. Got to admit that. I like wearing seven studs and playing on grass, but I feel like the field -- it’s supposedly the newest and the greatest,” said Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who warmed up on the turf but didn’t play in the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “There’s obviously been a lot of conversation around grass field compared to turf field, but I feel like the other night, it’s been one of the best surfaces I’ve seen that’s artificial. It’s our surface, so we’re going to enjoy it. I’ve always felt a little faster on turf, so I look forward to that.”
Neither the Giants or the Carolina Panthers suffered any major non-contact injuries during their contest at MetLife.
Former Giants captain Julian Love said last year of the previous surface, "the stats have shown we are on one of the worst fields in the league.”
According to FieldTurf's website, the new system is "constructed to deliver the highest fiber performance and resiliency available on the market" and "designed to provide elite high schools, high level collegiate programs and professional teams with a system that exceeds even FieldTurf’s current industry-leading products."
Rutgers was one of the first schools to adopt the system.
“FieldTurf is one of the great innovators in artificial turf surfaces, and we are pleased to continue our partnership with an industry leader,” said director of Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Hobbs in a post on the FieldTurf website. “We are committed to providing our coaches and players with best-in-class facilities, and this is another step in that process for all our student-athletes who compete at High Point Solutions Stadium.”
“It’s excellent. Feels a lot more like grass. So, not as sticky,” veteran Giants running back Matt Breida said. "It’s similar to [Dallas]. It’s more of that artificial grass that actually feels like real grass and your foot doesn’t get stuck. It gives. That’s what you want. It helps against injuries.”
Giants veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard, 30, caught one pass for six yards on Friday night in his first game back from an ACL tear he suffered at MetLife in 2021.
“It’s a little better but turf is turf to me, you know what I mean,” Shepard, a critic of the old turf, said. “You wish you were playing on the same surface every time you step out on the field."