EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Miami safety Jevon Holland called the MetLife Stadium turf “trash” after teammate Jaelan Phillips injured his right Achilles tendon in the Dolphins' 34-13 win over the New York Jets on Friday.
Phillips was carted from the field late in the fourth quarter, a non-contact injury that reignited the turf-vs.-grass debate among players.
“Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve heard the field is trash,” said Holland, whose 99-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first half helped lead Miami to the victory. “I don’t know the statistics or anything like that, but I do know turf does increase the chances of getting hurt.”
Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon on the same field just four snaps into his debut with New York on Sept. 11. MetLife Stadium changed its surface — which had been widely criticized because of injuries — before this season. But players have continued to voice their displeasure with the new turf.
Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert was a member of the San Francisco 49ers when he was injured in 2020 and teammates Solomon Thomas, now with the Jets, and Nick Bosa both suffered season-ending injuries on the previous MetLife Stadium turf.
“It’s tough, especially playing on this turf,” Mostert said. "No player wants to go down with a significant injury. You saw what happened to Rodgers, his very first game within the first series. It just sucks, man.
“For JP (Phillips), he’s going to have his space right. He’s going to get his mental right and be back stronger and better than ever. We've got to do something about this turf and this playing surface. Obviously, there is still a major problem. It just has to change.”
Mostert explained most players prefer playing on grass because of the give the surface provides.
“With turf, you’re kind of stuck in that position and it ultimately causes severe injuries,” he said.
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel didn't have an immediate update on Phillips, but said “it doesn't look great” and the team was preparing for the “worst-case scenario”
The third-year linebacker, who'll have additional tests Saturday, appeared to indicate in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he has a season-ending injury.
“Absolutely devastated,” Phillips wrote. “But I feel strength in knowing that this is all a part of God’s plan, and that I have an incredible team and support system around me. I’ll be back stronger than ever. Fins up.”
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