The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to dip into the free agency market this week when starting kicker Shaun Suisham was effectively ruled out of the 2015 NFL season with a torn ACL.
And now, having secured a replacement in the form of Garrett Hartley, their attentions appear to have turned to just why the injury occurred in the first place.
Finger of blame
With Suisham having gone down during Sunday's Hall of Fame game the Pittsburgh Steelers are pointing the finger of blame firmly at the NFL and their decision to allow the game to take place on a field that appears to have been woefully below par.
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As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the AFC North team have venter their anger towards the NFL concerning the state of the FieldTurf at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette, having spoken to several players who took part in the season curtain raiser, has revealed that the franchise believe the turf caused the experienced kicker "to lose his footing while he ran down under his kickoff" to begin the second half.
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The FieldTurf at the stadium is 11-years-old and the Hall of Fame game was in fact one of the final contests to take place on the surface before renovations begin.
For their part, the Pro Football Hall of Fame are maintaining that the field, whilst old, had passed stringent Clegg impact test that all NFL fields must pass before being allowed to host a game.
Still, although Shaun Suisham came away from the game with the most reason to complain, he wasn't the only player to criticize the downright dangerous surface:
"“I hated that turf,” Steelers safety Robert Golden. “It was old, chewed up, very hard. I’m just happy most of our guys got off healthy."
"Now they’re redoing it? I don’t agree with that, that’s bad, putting us at risk like that on that turf.”
His teammate, tight end Matt Spaeth, was equally as scathing:
"“It kind of just boggles my mind if they knew it was so bad that they were going to tear it up they wouldn’t have replaced it before we played on it,” he said.
With the complaints now in the public sphere Pittsburgh Steelers fans have even more reason to curse their luck as they prepare for a campaign without a reliable component of their team.
NFL fans: have your say on the situation in the comments below...
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