NFL will be more proactive in policing the turf

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III twists his

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III twists his knee as he reaches for the loose ball after a low snap during the second half of an NFL wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks in Landover, Md. (Jan. 6, 2013) (Credit: AP)

The NFL will take “a much more proactive and aggressive position” in certifying the maintenance of the fields its games are played on, a point of emphasis noted by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson in today’s Competition Committee conference call.

The reason, although never explicitly stated as such, clearly stems from the condition of the turf at FedEx Field for the NFC divisional playoff game between the Redskins and Seahawks. In that game, played on a sloppy natural surface, two players suffered torn ACLs: Robert Griffin III and Chris Clemons.

“Under our current rules and best practices, which we established a couple of years ago, we can make sure that if at any time the league office investigators determine that a stadium is not up to NFL quality, not safe or doesn’t meet our competitive standards, then this department will have the ability to require the club to remedy the situation immediately at the club’s expense,” Anderson said. “We will make sure safety is very clear in terms of our field surfaces.”

Anderson was asked about FedEx Field and whether the league will be making any proposals or guidelines for certain types of surfaces to be employed in an NFL stadium.

“There have not been any specific proposals and clubs are really given the option and the prerogative to pick their surfaces,” Anderson said. “There are no proposals that would require them to change surfaces. This proposal is geared toward making sure that everyone understands that going forward the league will take a more active role in making sure that whatever surface is chosen that the standards are vigorously upheld.”

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