The Los Angeles Rams have their second home game at SoFi Stadium in five day and while fans may be excited to have access to watch their home team live again, there is one player who has voiced his unhappy opinion about the situation for one specific reason. Veteran wide receiver Cooper Kupp had a negative reaction on Tuesday, voicing his distain for having to play on turf twice in such a short period of time. The Rams played the Washington Commanders at SoFi Sunday, and now will quickly need to prepare for a Thursday night home game against the New Orleans Saints.
When asked about prepping for two games in less than a week on artificial turf, Kupp said:
“As you know, I hate it,” Kupp continued “I’m not a fan of turf in general and it’s obviously tough going back-to-back on a short week. But it is what it is. I know people are certainly aware of it. If there’s going to be change that’s going to come, it’s not because people don’t know, you know? So it is what it’s. Like I said, it’s the same thing about playing Thursday night. Everyone’s got to do it. Everyone’s got to get it done on turf and just part of this game and you got to deal with it.”
To Kupp’s argument, the NFL has seen an abundance of lower leg injuries this season, specifically to players on turf - the most notable being QB Aaron Rodgers, who tore his Achille’s tendon on the infamous MetLife stadium turf. According to the NFLPA, New injury data shows grass is ‘significantly safer’ than turf.
Earlier in the offseason, Union president J.C. Tretter had this to say about the issue in an essay posted on the NFLPA website:
“Instead of following the long-term data (which is clear on this issue), listening to players and making the game safer,” Tretter wrote, “the NFL used an outlier year to engage in a PR campaign to convince everyone that the problem doesn’t actually exist.” He continued “In short, last year, the gap — much like the NFL’s credibility with players on this issue — was as wide as it has ever been,” Tretter continued, “proving that (as the NFLPA suspected) 2021 was in fact an outlier. Now, 10 of the previous 11 years show the same exact thing — grass is a significantly safer surface than turf.”
Kupp’s worry seems justified considering the wide receiver has dealt with reoccurring hamstring injuries since 2022, and also suffered a torn ACL back in 2018. While the ACL was when the Rams were still playing at the Coliseum, not SoFi, any time a player has a serious knee injury, it’s best to take their opinion’s into consideration when talking about the playing surface they are subjecting their bodies to.
The Rams will need to avoid all injuries in hopes to continue their unexpected but impressive run this season, as the team was considered to be in somewhat of a rebuild but now find themselves in the playoffs if the season ended today. They have a chance to get some breathing room in a tight NFC wild card race by taking down the New Orleans Saints Thursday.