Turf ready for Giants-Jets Monday night

ALBANY, N.Y. -- When it comes time for the New York Giants to face the New York Jets in the first preseason game at the new Meadowlands stadium on Monday night, the turf field will be ready.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin watched as wide receiver Domenik Hixon tore his ACL during a Giants minicamp practice on June 16, just after the turf field was unveiled. At the time, players and coaches were concerned that the turf's rawness contributed to the injury. Those concerns went from the organization to stadium officials.

"We have been back over there as coaches and looked at it," Coughlin said. "We were assured when we walked around. All of our concerns we had at that time have been answered."

Chip Namias, the spokesperson for the field's maker, FieldTurf, said an independent expert had been brought in to evaluate the condition of the field in the wake of Hixon's injury.

Namias said Andrew McNitt, an associate professor of soil science and turfgrass at Penn State, came and evaluated the field and found it to be safe.

"The field is in great shape," Namias said. "I think both teams are satisfied that it's safe."

The stadium grounds crew did additional work on the turf, like leveling out the small rubber bits that look like dirt when displaced, and churning the infield.

"They did a lot. They did some work on the center of the field," said Coughlin. "They did some work to make sure the distribution of the granules was even. They did a lot of that. They checked each area with a meter to make sure it all met to the specification. We were told about all this."

When Hixon's injury occurred, safety Antrel Rolle speculated that the turf was a factor.

"My feet were burning at the bottom on the turf," Rolle said at the time. "I was slipping on each and every play. It just didn't feel good to me at all. I can't lie to you about that. I am not one to really complain or make excuses or anything but they should definitely look into that as far as playing on that field in the future during the season."

Namias said that the timing of Hixon's injury right after the unveiling of the new field was merely a coincidence. He said he was sorry to see an athlete go down like that, but that it could've happened on any surface.

"There never was a problem, there was just an injury that could have happened at any time," Namias said.

Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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