Report: NFLPA to File Grievance over Field Conditions in Lions vs. Panthers Game

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 1, 2023

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 24: DJ Moore #2 of the Carolina Panthers gets tackled by Mike Hughes #23 of the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The field conditions at Carolina's Bank of America Stadium during the Panthers' Week 16 game against the Detroit Lions are reportedly under scrutiny.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFLPA filed a grievance against both the league and the Panthers regarding "the hardness of the playing field." Schefter noted that the NFLPA raised concerns before kickoff and said the conditions "only worsened as the game progressed" because of the cold.

Week 16 of the NFL was defined by freezing temperatures that swept across the country, and Charlotte was no different.

The temperature was 20 degrees when the teams kicked off, and the wind chill was just nine.

"I thought the field conditions were below NFL level standard, specifically pregame," Lions quarterback Jared Goff told reporters. "It warmed up as the game wore on. I don't know what the deal is here. But they need to figure out a way to make the field not feel like cement. Why that is, I don't know."

The topic of grass versus turf has been a major talking point during the NFL season.

Panthers players are among those who have complained about the turf surface at Bank of America Stadium, so Goff's comments are not unfounded.

"Grass is just better for you, it's more forgiving," former Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters.

After Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the league should "look at this really seriously in the offseason" when discussing the grass-turf debate in October, ESPN's Brady Henderson noted NFL Players Association president JC Tretter cited previous NFL injury data that revealed there were more noncontact lower-body injuries on turf than grass from 2012 to 2018.

Carroll's comments followed a game between the Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium, which features an artificial turf surface. Los Angeles lost cornerback J.C. Jackson for the season because of a ruptured patellar tendon, while Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf also suffered a patellar tendon injury.

As for the game between the Panthers and Lions, Carolina earned a 37-23 victory and remained in the NFC South race.

It ran for 320 yards and three touchdowns while relying on the ground game in the cold conditions.