Lions Upgrading Ford Field Turf from Slit-Film Surface After Injuries in 2022

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2023

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 04:  A general overview of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) calling out play signals is seen during the first quarter of an NFL football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions on December 4, 2022 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are upgrading the turf at Ford Field after using the controversial slit-film turf last year, per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.

FieldTurf @FieldTurf

It's official! The <a href="https://twitter.com/Lions?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@lions</a> are upgrading to the <a href="https://twitter.com/FieldTurf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FieldTurf</a> CORE system at <a href="https://twitter.com/fordfield?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fordfield</a> &amp; the Allen Park Practice Facility. As the team's trusted choice for over 20 years, we can't wait for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lions?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lions</a> to take the new field in 2023.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/syntheticgrass?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#syntheticgrass</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OnePride?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OnePride</a><a href="https://t.co/Rltb8JYxuE">https://t.co/Rltb8JYxuE</a> <a href="https://t.co/Zxitbc4ML3">pic.twitter.com/Zxitbc4ML3</a>

NFL players association president JC Tretter wrote a letter in November calling for an immediate ban and replacement of all slit film turf, saying it has a "statistically higher in-game injury rates compared to all other surfaces" for non-contact injuries, lower-extremity injuries and foot and ankle injuries.

The Lions were one of seven teams to play on the surface along with the New York Giants, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals. MetLife Stadium, which hosts both the Giants and Jets, will replace its surface in 2023.

Many players have called for the NFL to play on grass-only fields after various high-profile injuries occurred on artificial surfaces, but the slit film has especially caused an uproar over the past year.

Detroit has heard the calls and will make a change, hopefully leading to improved safety in 2023 and beyond.

The planned change of surfaces prevented Ford Field from hosting a potential neutral-site AFC Championship Game, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.