Citing workplace safety under OSHA laws, the NFLPA now has independent field inspectors who can conduct random field inspections.
This is largely a result of the poor field conditions at FedEx Field for the playoff game between the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks last January, which some believe contributed to injuries, including a major knee injury for quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The NFL itself has passed FedEx Field for its opener. The NFLPA sent its field inspector to the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium to inspect its turf, which has also had its share of injuries. The field was inspected this week and given the green light; if anything, the inspection served to clearly communicate to the clubs that the union has access and will do its job.
Dr. John Sorochan from the University of Tennessee will review and advise the NFLPA regarding the NFL's practices for maintaining field surfaces. Dr. Sorochan will attend and observe NFL- and club-conducted field-surface testing sessions and evaluate the value of the testing standards. He will analyze the NFL's field-surface-testing data and provide recommendations to the NFLPA.
Players' complaints on specific fields will influence which venues are inspected. Some of the fields that traditionally get complaints are FedEx Field, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and the Oakland's O.co Coliseum, as well as some turf fields.