Vikings argue FieldTurf is unsafe

Unlike their roommates, the New York Jets have avoided saying anything derogatory about the new Meadowlands stadium's artificial turf.

In the aftermath of receiver Domenik Hixon suffering a season-ending knee injury without being touched, some New York Giants were critical of a surface they considered loose and slippery.

A spokesman for manufacturer FieldTurf refuted claims from Giants safety Antrel Rolle that the carpet was to blame for Hixon's torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"With all due and sincere respect to Antrel Rolle, who is a wonderful player, he is simply not medically trained or qualified to make such a statement," FieldTurf spokesman Chip Namias said. "The people who run NFL teams are ultra conscientious, and there's a very good reason why 21 of the 32 member clubs use FieldTurf."

Among those who refuse, however, are the Minnesota Vikings over concerns for player safety.

"Medically, FieldTurf has proven to increase risk and severity of injury in NFL players," the Vikings stated in court documents, as reported Thursday by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. According to the story, the Vikings cited an NFL study that showed injuries to anterior cruciate ligaments were 88 percent higher on FieldTurf than grass.

FieldTurf, meanwhile, pointed to two Montana State studies that showed its surfaces produced fewer and less significant injuries than grass. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal noted FieldTurf funded one of those studies.

FieldTurf is suing the Vikings for opting to use competitor Sportexe to resurface the Metrodome. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission made the choice although FieldTurf's bid of $458,561 was nearly $50,000 cheaper than Sportexe's.