During the final two minutes of Monday's game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard was running a route and went down with a non-contact knee injury. Shepard didn't make any cuts and had no one around him when the injury occurred.
Shepard ended up having to be carted off the field and,.
Shortly after Shepard suffered the devastating injury, free agent wideout Odell Beckham Jr. weighed in on the situation. He took to social media to share his belief that NFL teams need to do away with turf playing surfaces and play completely on grass in order to avoid serious injuries like this.
"Just get rid of it all the fkngether bro," Beckham tweeted following Shepard's injury. "Billions made off this game I can't understand why we can't play on grass. That shxt is rough. Prayers up for my brother. Shxt just hurt my heart."
Beckham, who was a Giants teammate of Shepard's from 2016-2018, certainly knows all too well how quickly a player's time on the field can end on an artificial playing surface.
During Super Bowl LVI, Beckham suffered a torn ACL while playing for the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium, which has artificial turf. Beckham has rehabbed his way back to a clean bill of health, but remains a free agent with three weeks of the 2022 NFL season in the books.
Beckham isn't the only one that is advocating for the league to make the switch to only using grass fields. In 2020, NFL Players Association President JC Tretter published an essay in which he petitioned for the NFL to use natural grass playing surfaces rather than artificial fields.
"Our occupation is dangerous enough, and the increased rate of lower extremity injuries linked to the field surface we are forced to play on is unacceptable. The NFLPA is advocating for teams to convert artificial practice and game fields to natural grass fields," Tretter said. "In the meantime, we're fighting on behalf of our players to develop better safety standards and testing methods for artificial turf. There is room for innovation by artificial turf manufacturers, but until the risk of injury on turf mirrors the risk on grass, playing on turf is not in the best interest of our players."
Only time will tell if players' wishes will ever become a reality.