November 28, 2022
Lane Johnson avoided a catastrophic injury Sunday night and it was heavily thanks to the Eagles' decision to roll with a grass field when they opened Lincoln Financial Field 19 years ago.
During Sunday night's 40-33 win over the Packers, on a play where quarterback Jalen Hurts took off running, Johnson stayed ahead of him upfield to block and got clipped by Packers safety Adrian Amos, who dove low illegally and took the right tackle's knees out from under him.
Johnson was okay after the play, but it looked bad, and had the playing surface been turf instead of grass, it could've been far, far worse.
His knee "would have been f***ed" if it weren't for the grass field, the veteran tackle told the NFL Network's James Palmer postgame.
Lane Johnson told me that if he wasn’t playing on grass tonight, his knee “would have been f**ked” on the illegal low block on him tonight by Adrian Amos. He said his cleats thankfully came out of the grass when he was hit on his knee— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) November 28, 2022
The video proves it too.
Once Amos throws the illegal block, Johnson's right leg slides out from underneath the dirt, allowing him to bounce straight off the contact and keep his whole body flying forward as he lands.
Had it been turf, his cleat likely would've had too much grip. Johnson's knee would've gone backward while the rest of his body was moving full steam ahead. It would've been disastrous.
Note the grass/dirt fly up and give way under right foot.— David J. Chao - ProFootballDoc (@ProFootballDoc) November 28, 2022
Like ski binding releasing to save knee injury.@LaneJohnson65 specifically addressed the grass saving him post game.
As an owner, would you install grass to save one player knee injury a year? https://t.co/eq7w6mvECg
Turf fields have been a real point of contention between the NFL and the Players Association, especially this season, as the number of injuries – especially non-contact ones – tied to the playing surface has seemingly skyrocketed.
The game between the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium (a turf field) earlier Sunday added to the mounting pile of evidence.
Jets receiver Garrett Wilson hauled in a pass from quarterback Mike White and took off on a 54-yard touchdown, blazing past Bears safety Eddie Jackson, who was lying on the ground clutching his ankle and unable to give chase.
Jackson was backpedaling on the play when his left foot got caught in the turf and sent him to the ground in pain. He needed help off the field and was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a non-contact foot injury soon after.
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