Monday Night Football was supposed to feature a clash between franchise quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen. Instead, it made headlines when the former's ankle got stuck on the field and suffered a season-ending injury. Several former and current NFL players weighed in on the situation, including Jacksonville Jaguars returner Jamal Agnew, who wonders how many more injuries need to take place at Metlife Stadium before the league does something about it.
MetLife has become infamous in recent years for the number of severe injuries players have suffered because of its subpar field. Aaron Rodgers is the latest but other big-profile players have sustained serious injury because of the turf field.
Following the game, former Rodgers' teammate David Bakhtiari called out the NFL for the less-than-ideal playing conditions at the stadium, "You care more about soccer players than us. You plan to remove all artificial turf for the World Cup coming up. So clearly it's feasible," Bakhtiari said on social media.
Meanwhile, Jamal Agnew noted that several players have made it known that the turf at MetLife is unsafe and wonders when "enough is enough".
Other prominent players who have suffered serious injuries at MetLife are defensive end Solomon Thomas, Jimmy Garoppolo, edge rusher Nick Bosa, wide receiver Sterling Sharpe and cornerback Kyle Fuller.
The Jaguars have had players go down with injuries at MetLife
Bakhtiari is right. For a league that claims that players' safety is their top priority, it's odd that the NFL hasn't done anything about it. This wouldn't be an issue if Rodgers' ankle injury was an outlier but it isn't. The Jaguars, in particular, had two players sustain injuries at MetLife in recent years.
Back in 2021, they lost running back James Robinson to an Achilles tear at Metlife. Although the former Illinois State Redbird returned in time for the 2022 opener, he was no longer the explosive player that totaled over 1,400 yards from scrimmage in his rookie year. In fact, he's had a hard time latching on to a team since Jacksonville shipped him to the Jets.
Last year, defensive end Dawuane Smoot was having a productive season before he suffered an Achilles tear as well. He started the 2023 season on the Injured Reserve and will need a few more weeks before he's back in the fold.
It's possible that Aaron Rodger's injury is the straw that broke the camel's back. Having lost one of their biggest stars, maybe the league realizes it's hand enough. Then again, nobody will bat an eye if they opt to do nothing but still claim they take players' safety seriously. For the time being, players won't be enthused about having to play games at MetLife.