The NFLPA is filing a grievance against the NFL and the Carolina Panthers for the condition of the playing surface during Carolina's 37-23 win over the Detroit Lions on Christmas Eve, according to ESPN. The "hardness" of the playing field at Bank of America Stadium specifically was the issue, and the NFLPA reportedly complained before the game about the field conditions. In the cold weather, the field apparently only worsened as the game went on.
Last week's game was the coldest Panthers home game in franchise history. Multiple Lions players complained about the field following their loss.
"That was the most concrete field I've ever been on in my whole life," rookie pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson said. "I didn't think that was actually legal to play on. Warming up, you're trying to turn the corner, and literally in warmups, I fell in my first one-on-one rep right on my face.
"I don't know if there is a standard you have to meet for turf, but I think it got better later in the game, so it wasn't too much of a factor. But, I mean, it was very concrete-like for sure."
Lions quarterback Jared Goff took issue with the field as well, although he thought the surface actually got better as the game went on.
"I thought the field conditions were below NFL-level standard, specifically pregame," Goff said. "I know it warmed up a bit as the game went on, but I don't know what the deal is here. They need to make the turf not feel like cement. I don't know why that is. You said it was the coldest game [here], so maybe it has something to do with that. It got better as the game went on, but pregame it was in no condition to be played on. Happy guys came out of this one relatively injury free."
This is hardly the first time the NFLPA or players have complained about playing surfaces this year. NFLPA president JC Tretter even penned a piece in November calling on the league to start caring about the playing surfaces they provide.