|FedEx Field won't be getting a face, er, field lift in 2013. (US Presswire)|
In a bit of irony, on the same day Bruce Allen hinted that Robert Griffin III could return in time for the 2013 season opener, the Washington Redskins general manager announced that a FieldTurf surface won't be an option for FedEx Field next season.
Already playing on an injured knee, Griffin aggravated it in the first quarter of a 24-14 NFC Wild Card loss to the Seahawks, then left the game midway through the fourth after his knee buckled on a fumble at the Redskins' 5-yard line. The small area between the hashes where Griffin suffered the injury resembled a beat-up outfield lined with patches of dirt.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was highly critical of the Redskins for the poor field conditions in the days following the victory. Shortly before Griffin tore the ACL and LCL ligaments in his right knee, Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons also left the game with a torn ACL. The Seahawks later filed a formal complaint with the league.
"It was horrible, it's a horrible field," Carroll told KIRO-AM in Seattle. "It was as bad as a field could get for being dry. And it's too bad. It's really too bad, and we deserve better. It was worn out. There was a lot of slipping and all that kind of stuff.”
NFL rules require a playing surface to be certified at least 72 hours before a game. If a home team does not comply, it could be disciplined by the league office.
“Within 72 hours of each home game, all clubs that own or lease their stadiums are required to certify that their fields are in compliance with Recommended Practices for the Maintenance of Infill and Natural Surfaces for NFL Games,” the league's Game Operations Manual states. “If any parts of the playing surface are not in compliance, it must be remediated in accordance with the applicable manufacturer's recommendations at the club's expense. The playing surface must be retested and certified as being in compliance prior to game day.”
FieldTurf is used at seven NFL stadiums, including CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The surface used at FedEx Field, 419 Tifway Bermuda Grass, is used at six other stadiums throughout the league.
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