The debate between grass and turf fields has been reignited this week after the New York Jets lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the season with a torn Achilles just four plays into the season.
The conversation has intensified to the point where it made its way down to Alabama on Thursday as Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban was asked what his preference was on what field he’d like his team to play on.
“I don’t think there’s any question about that. I think most of us grow playing on natural grass so that’s kind of what they’re used to,” Saban said during his weekly radio show. “I think they’ve made tremendous progress in the quality of turf, where people have turf, it’s not like it used to be, it’s not as hard it’s more like natural grass.
“I do think that there’s been a history for a long time of foot and ankle injuries, knee injuries, are there more occasions for that to happen when you’re on artificial surfaces than natural grass because it doesn’t give, it’s got more grab. I don’t know if all those things are true but I don’t think there’s a player on our team that would rather not prefer on natural grass and we prefer to practice on it.”
Alabama practices on both grass and artificial surfaces throughout the season but typically only uses its indoor facility when the heat has a great impact.
“We do have to go inside and practice inside on occasion here because it’s so hot,” Saban said. “It’s more because of the heat than it is because of bad weather or anything else. I mean you just can’t wear your players out when it’s 95 degrees every day and you’re going through practice and there’s some point in time you have to recover so on Thursdays we usually go inside.”
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77