It’s a shame that it took this long, and you would think an organization as rich in history as the Washington Redskins would want their team playing on the best field conditions. But that hasn’t been the case at their home of FedEx Field, where the turf conditions have been complained about by visiting and home players alike.
Finally, something is being done. It only took a catastrophic knee injury to prized QB Robert Griffin III to finally get the message across to team owner Daniel Snyder, I guess.
On Tuesday, the team announced plans to completely re-sod and re-turf the treacherous field. The mid-field sod will be pulled and the replaced and new turf laid down the complete length of the field.
The catch? Oh yeah, you know there has to be a catch.
The biggest part of this project is going to be done during the season. The sod between the numbers is going to be replaced in November while the Redskins are on the road for a couple of weeks, and then the new turf laid down just in time for a Nov. 25 game against the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.
The timing couldn’t have been worse in my opinion. I’ve seen games played on newly laid turf that looked like guys were running with rollerblades on. It can be particularly dangerous if a cleat catches a seam on the new turf. As much as both the Redskins and 49ers like to run the ball, there could be more than one injury happening in that game.
What’s stunning is that, even though this has been an ongoing problem for some time, this will be the first time the groundskeepers have worked on the field in four seasons, with excavations having already begun.
The Redskins are laying out a PR blanket, talking about how the core of the problem came down to roots not having proper drainage due to backup of debris, and that while renovations are ongoing there will no no college football games played on the field.
Oh, but they may allow a soccer game or two to be played. Yeah, like soccer players are so much more gentle on a field than football players.
Reasons and current precautions aside, it’s unfathomable how an NFL team does not require its field to be worked over during every offseason, if for no other reason to prevent the type of problems the field has now. Perhaps some yearly maintenance would have not only saved some money with this large re-sodding project, but might have saved themselves a quarterback as well.
So by the end of this regular season, FedEx field will have a nice new turf laid down. Hopefully for the Redskins, they’ll get to actually use it late in the year.