FedEx Field Turf Didn't Meet Standard, but Redskins Have Been Penalized Enough

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJanuary 8, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:   Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins wears a knee brace during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game against the Seattle Seahawks at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Anyone with a color TV watching Sunday night's Wild Card Game between the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., could tell that the Redskins' home field was not in particularly good shape. You could barely see the logo in the center as a wide strip of brown ran from end to end as a result of wear and tear from the regular season.

Despite the fact that an official complaint hasn't been launched and the NFL doesn't appear as though it is going to take any action against the team, it was obvious looking at the condition of the grass that the Redskins didn't do a good enough job preparing the field for such an important game. 

I mean, this is a billion-dollar franchise with a nine-figure payroll hosting one of the most important games of the year in a $10 billion a year professional sports league. With that in mind, this is unacceptable...

Even if the league comes to that conclusion, it probably wouldn't be fair to come down too hard on a Washington team that is already in the gutter to kick off the offseason. 

First, the field passed all of the necessary team-conducted tests in the days leading up to the game, so it would be tough for the league to do anything more than issue them a warning. On top of that, though, we're talking about a Washington team that lost the game and also might have lost its franchise quarterback for the entire offseason and parts of the 2013 campaign. 

The jury is still out on the severity of Robert Griffin III's knee injury, which was aggravated as a result of an awkward fall on the choppy field late in Sunday's loss, but initial reports have not been positive. Hell, RG3's career might never be the same. 

And the Redskins are privately left wondering if they did this to their star rookie quarterback. Forget the whole controversy regarding Mike Shanahan's decision to keep Griffin in the game even after he was struggling due to the original injury, the reality is we'll never know for sure if the condition of the field played a role in the incident that ultimately removed RG3 from the game, ending his season and sending him back to an MRI scanner.

While Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll voiced his displeasure regarding the field, he did also add that it didn't affect the result of said game because, after all, both teams were playing on it. And while the Seahawks lost one of their best defensive players, Chris Clemons, to a knee injury, Seattle still came out on top. And realistically, the loss of Griffin was more significant than the loss of Clemons. 

What I'm saying is that not knowing if their own terrible field is the reason RG3 is hurt is probably punishment enough for the down-and-out Redskins. Anything more, and the league would be Homer Simpson dressed as Krusty the Clown taking down the Krusty Burglar.


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