BOSTON -- The NFL spends a lot of time talking about player health. How much work the league actually does toward that end is always a matter of debate.
While some major progress has no doubt been made over the past decade-plus, Julian Edelman still sees the issue of turf fields as a major point of hypocrisy for the NFL.
In comments made on "No Chill with Gilbert Arenas" and transcribed by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Edelman pointed out that teams around the league opt for the cheaper option in turf, even though it results in more injuries than natural grass.
"I tore my ACL on a [crappy] turf in Detroit which was absolutely ridiculous. I broke my foot on a [crappy] turf field in New York. This is a multi-billion dollar corporation and we can't get grass?" Edelman said.
Edelman explained that with no give in artificial turf, all of the energy transferred is absorbed by ankles and knees.
"When you get to about 27 or 28, you go out and you have to practice on a turf field and your back locks up, your knees get hurt for the next three days, your ankles are sore for three days," he said. "There's just nowhere for the energy to go, but through your body. And these are full-grown men who are cutting on this."
Edelman also pointed out that when NFL stadiums host international soccer games, owners don't hesitate to pay the costs associated with placing a natural grass surface on top of the artificial turf that NFL games are played on.
Edelman also discussed the new fair catch rule on kickoffs, a rule implemented to purportedly increase player safety. Edelman said that assertion from the NFL was "bulls---" and the explanation doesn't really add up.
"We're counting pennies when it comes to what they are actually making and you would think that the league would want to protect their investments in the players," Edelman said. "The horses that race in the race, you've got to take care of the horse."
Edelman missed the entire 2017 season with the torn ACL he suffered in Detroit in the preseason, and he missed the final seven games of the 2015 regular season after breaking his foot in a win over the Giants in mid-November. Those were the only seasons between 2014 and 2018 when the Patriots did not win the Super Bowl.
for more features.