The 49ers were frustrated following their Week 2 win over the New York Jets, as numerous starters were lost with lower-body injuries. Coach Kyle Shanahan and players pointing to the MetLife Stadium playing surface as the primary culprit. Facing the prospect of returning to face the New York Giants on the same field in Week 3, where so many of their teammates were wounded, the 49ers shared plenty of anxiety and frustration in the aftermath.
The NFL came out and said not only was the field approved by both the league and the Jets prior to Sunday’s game, but the field once again was approved for Week 3 by a handful of officials from both teams, the NFL, the NFL Players’ Association and MetLife Stadium staff.
NBC Sports' Mike Florio and Peter King said they sympathize with the angst expressed by the players after seeing so many injuries in one game, but nevertheless believe the 49ers must put that in the back of their minds and focus on trying to escape with a win.
“Look, I’ve seen the union in the past, Mike, justifiably go crazy about some surfaces in the NFL," King said on “PFT Live." "And the fact that this union now signs off on it, I think the players on the 49ers have to say 'OK, we’re OK with this because our union has been fiercely independent when it comes to certifying fields.'
“I do think the 49ers have just got to suck it up, play on the field that they apparently hate and realize that maybe, just maybe, there was a little bit of an overreaction there.”
The NFLPA approving the field is an important step, as they are the only party out of those certifying the field whose sole, singular purpose is to protect and support the players that take the field each week.
With the league officially signing off, there’s not much more the organization can do other than suit up and take the field at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Hopefully for both squads, we see fewer leg and ankle issues this time around.