LB Jadeveon Clowney, the first-overall draft pick, will miss time as he recovers from a torn meniscus in his right knee suffered in the second quarter of yesterday's season opener. He told one teammate how it went down:
"He told me on the field when it happened, he was just like, 'Bro, I just jumped, came down and hit one of the holes on the field,'" said [safety D.J.] Swearinger. "There are a few holes in the grass, so he said he thought he stepped on one of those holes and got hurt. So I told him to try and walk it off, see if he could go. He went in the next play and couldn't go, so I told him to go to the sideline and see what's up with it. And he went over to the sideline, and I guess that's when they told him (he had to stay out)."
A new field of grass—made up of interlocking pieces—is rolled into the stadium for every game, and the quality at NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) has been criticized before. Punter Brett Hartmann is suing the the stadium's owners, claiming the turf caused his career-ending injury. Players from both sides during an August soccer match held there said it was dangerous, and that "neither team wanted to play on the field."
Famously, Patriots coach Bill Belichick blasted the field in 2010 after Wes Welker tore two knee ligaments.
"The turf down there is terrible. It's terrible. It's just inconsistent. It's all the little trays of grass and some of them are soft and some of them are firm and they don't all fit well together, those seams...some of it feels like a sponge, some of it feels real firm and hard like the Miami surface. One step you're on one, the other step you're on another. I really think it's one of the worst fields I've seen."
So what did NRG Stadium look like yesterday?
(Click through to see the individual photos.)
Clowney was scheduled to undergo surgery today. He's expected to miss up to six weeks.