The field turf at MetLife Stadium became a serious concern Sunday after several 49ers players left the game with significant injuries.
The 49ers return to play at the same venue for a second consecutive week in their Week 3 contest against the New York Giants this upcoming Sunday. While players don't have control over the surface or venue, left tackle Trent Williams said it won’t be forgotten.
“I’d be lying to tell you we’re not going to be thinking about it or it’s not going to go across our minds,” Williams said Wednesday. “But when you've got 300-pound linemen in front of you that’s trying to put you on your back, I think the surface falls on the back burner.”
Giants coach Joe Judge appeared unconcerned with the issue. His team played on the same surface in Week 1 without any significant injury issues.
“I’ve had no conversations with the NFL, period, on the field,” Judge said. “I’ll let them take care of that. We’ve been fine with it.”
Several 49ers players described the brand new field turf as sticky, thick or spongy. On Sunday, Williams explained that it was similar to new turf he has played on before being broken in. Until it has had some wear, the left tackle described playing on the surface as “tricky.”
Fred Warner compared the MetLife turf to what he had seen in New Orleans at the Superdome. Like most players, he would prefer to play on real grass but that is not always what they are faced with.
“I’m a big believer of controlling the controllables, doing what I can,” Warner said. “With the playing surface that we’re going to be playing on on Sunday, I have no control over that. I’m letting everyone else handle that in the building and outside.
"The only thing I can do is prepare for the New York Giants.”
The field turf might be in the back of his mind, but Williams won’t hesitate at all once the game clock starts on Sunday. For him, it's just part of playing the game.
“Obviously with seeing people go down, and feeling that turf knowing where it’s at as a playing surface, you do get a little nervous, but I just pray before the game and take it in,” Williams said. “I’m going to go out there and give it my all and whatever happens, happens I guess.”