The NFL is satisfied at this point with the condition of the playing surface at FedEx Field and with the Washington Redskins’ plan to maintain the field throughout the season, according to a league official.
But Ray Anderson, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, reiterated Thursday that the league will monitor the condition of the field at FedEx Field and at other teams’ stadiums over the course of the season.
“Regular checks of all fields will occur,” Anderson wrote in an electronic message in which he also expressed satisfaction with the current condition of the field at FedEx Field.
Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll called the field at FedEx Field “horrible” after his team beat the Redskins a first-round NFC playoff game there Jan. 6. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons suffered serious knee injuries during that game, although it is not clear if those injuries were related to the condition of the playing surface. Griffin’s knee had been hurt before that game and he remained in the Redskins’ lineup after appearing to aggravate his injury early in the game.
In the aftermath of that game, Anderson said at the NFL scouting combine in February in Indianapolis that the NFL would take a more active role and would be more vigilant in monitoring the condition of fields league-wide, particularly later in the season in stadiums with natural grass playing surfaces.
Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen said during the offseason that installing an artificial playing surface at FedEx Field was not an option for the team. Allen said then that the team would re-sod the field during the season after missing an opportunity, according to Allen, to do that last season.
The Redskins played two preseason games at FedEx Field this summer. They host the Philadelphia Eagles there Monday night in their regular season opener.
Redskins defensive lineman Kedric Golston said Thursday that the field was in good shape during the preseason, but acknowledged that the true test of the condition of the playing surface will come later in the season.
“I thought the field was good,” Golston said. “Obviously you’ve got the summer months, the spring, growing the grass. Being up here in the Northeast, you can’t really control the climate and what it’s gonna do. I think we’ve got a real good grounds crew. But who knows. If it rains for a month and we play games on it, the field is gonna get torn up and you can’t grow grass in 40-degree weather. But I thought the playing field was good.”
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