SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After watching a procession of key players, including stars Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa and Raheem Mostert, go down with leg injuries in Sunday’s 31-13 win over the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was left wondering if there is something wrong with artificial turf at New York’s Metlife Stadium.
And the 49ers will be returning to the same stadium, same turf, this coming week to take on the New York Giants.
“I don’t exactly why it happened (so many key players injured in same game), but as far as the feeling that was on the sideline — that’s as many knee injuries and ankle stuff and people getting caught on the turf that I ever have been a part of,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. “From what I saw the other team did too. I know our players talked about it the entire game — just how sticky the turf was — I think that was the first time people played on it.”
“It was something our guys were concerned about right away and the results definitely made that a lot stronger. Unfortunately it’s a place where we have to go back to next week.”
Bosa, a fearsome pass rusher and last year’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, suffered what appeared to be season ending ACL injury in first half.
During the same offensive series, starting defensive tackle Solomon Thomas was also carted off the field with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out for several weeks. Mostert, who scored on an 80-yard run on the 49ers opening offensive play, also was sidelined by knee issues involving the turf.
The 49ers weren’t the only one with a parade of players heading to the lockeroom. The Jets also saw wide receivers Breshad Perriman (ankle) and Chris Hogan (ribs) departed early, cornerbacks Quincy Wilson (concussion) and Arthur Maulet (groin) failed to make it the finish, and center Connor McGovern hurt his hamstring and did not return.
49ers defensive star Arik Armstead said he noticed something was different with turf in pregame warmups.
“You felt the turf was pretty thick and guys seemed to be struck in the ground more regularly,” he said.
He said he has concerns returning to the same field next Sunday.
“There is a lot of anxiety,” he said. “You see guys go down and get hurt…Now, we have to come back and play on the same surface.”
Linebacker Fred Warner also noticed the bite of the turf.
“I noticed it during pre-game for sure,” he said. “The were more — seemed like it was a little more stickier. It was kind of spongy.”
But he also warned his teammates not to allow those anxiety to overwhelm them when they play the Giants.
“It’s something you can’t think about,” he said. “If your mind is on — ‘Oh we have to play on this turf’ — You are bound to get hurt. You got to play fast, play your game and let the rest handle itself.”