Citing the health and safety of its players and the challenge of growing natural grass in a “climate transition zone,” the Tennessee Titans announced this week they will install a monofilament synthetic turf at Nissan Stadium ahead of the 2023 season.

“Ultimately, there’s just a limit to how much can be done for a natural grass surface in this part of the country,” team president and CEO Burke Nihill said in a statement. “The turf is cutting-edge technology and will be a huge improvement in terms of consistency and performance.”

The Titans have played on a natural grass surface since Nissan Stadium opened in 1999, but are regularly forced to replace – or resod – the field, which has become an issue late in recent seasons as injuries have piled up.

In fact, Tennessee set an NFL record with 91 players used in 2021 and led the league with 33 players placed on injured reserve throughout the 2022 season, most of which were lower-body injuries.

“We’ve had a lot of issues after a certain part of the season,” head coach Mike Vrabel said. “It’s hard to grow grass. It gets slick. We try and put new sod down and it’s slick, you see guys slipping. Those are real things that I’ve witnessed over my time here.”

The Titans already use a similar surface at their indoor practice facility, and the reviews from players have been positive since it was installed last year. They will now become the first team in the NFL with monofilament turf, which incorporates organic infill instead of rubber pellets.

“Just witnessing our practices inside and how they feel and how they respond on that product, we’re excited to be able to add this product to our stadium,” Vrabel said.

Tennessee won’t be the only team impacted by the change, either, as Nissan Stadium also hosts college football’s Music City Bowl every December. The playing surface is often criticized while the end zones are always a mess, with “Nashville” being painted over a faded Titans wordmark.

Photos courtesy of @Titans and @MusicCityBowl on Twitter.