San Francisco 49ers star Nick Bosa believes the use of artificial turf is a threat to player safety in the NFL, as he explained to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated:
"I really think FieldTurf is a problem in the NFL. And the turf I played on in New York was brand new. It was super soft, and apparently, they rolled a cement roller over it twice after the game because we had two ACLs and a bunch of other injuries on it. So I think if the NFL cared about our safety at all, then we’d all play on grass like top soccer teams do. So that’s kinda b.s. to me."
Bosa tore his ACL in 2020 during a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Field, which also saw starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and starting running back Raheem Mostert exit with injuries. The injury issues eventually led to a 6-10 season for a team that went to the Super Bowl one year earlier.
The injury was especially concerning for Bosa, who also tore his ACL in high school before his college career ended early because of a hip injury.
The 24-year-old bounced back from the knee issue to tally 15.5 sacks in 2021, earning a second Pro Bowl selection in three NFL seasons. It's still clear he sees questionable playing surfaces as a leaguewide issue.
As of last season, half of the teams in the NFL (16) play on natural grass while the other half have artificial turf.