Pittsburgh Steelers players have complained privately and publicly about the quality of the playing conditions in Tom Benson Stadium for Sunday's Hall of Fame game, prompting speculation about whether the turf triggered kicker Shaun Suisham's torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Suisham hurt his knee on the opening kickoff of the second half.
"I'm not a turf expert but I heard it wasn't too good -- I heard it was a little sticky," punter Brad Wing said.
Safety Robert Golden told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the turf was "old, chewed up, very hard" and felt the Hall of Fame put players at risk by asking nearly 200 players to play on it. The Hall of Fame began reconstructing the turf this week.
No complaints have directly reached the Hall of Fame, however.
"Neither team expressed any concern to the Hall of Fame about the turf," HOF communications director Joe Horrigan said in an email. "The field was given the Klegg test on Gameday as it is every year and passed and there was no further conversation between the Hall of Fame and the league office."
It's impossible to know whether Suisham's knee would have remained intact on a different surface, but clearly the Steelers felt strongly about the need for improvement.