Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans, the NFL, and the Harris County Convention Sports Corp., and stadium-management company SMG were all listed as defendants in a suit filed Friday by former Houston Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans according to multiple reports.
Ryans is claiming that the old field surface at NRG stadium is responsible for the Achilles injury he suffered. Ryans suffered the injury on November 2nd, 2014 ending his season for the Philidelphia Eagles that year.
After the game teammates ridiculed the playing surface at NRG stadium. The field was a unique panel system of grass grown in 12×12 metal plates that were placed together. Often times if the field was placed together shortly before the game there would be visible seams between the panels that players complained made footing uncomfortable. Ryans’ teammate Connor Barwin told SportsRadio 610 after the game in 2014 that Ryans felt the field caused the injury. Ryans returned to the Eagles in 2015 and played in 14 games.
2014 was the last full season the Texans used grass field on the pallet system. In week 1 of that season No. one overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney hurt his knee on the field. After the game, teammate DJ Swearinger said that Clowney told him he stepped in a hole between pallets.
Wes Welker tore his ACL on the field in 2010 and head coach Bill Belichick was known to put down the quality of the field on a regular basis.
“It’s terrible. It’s just inconsistent,” Belichick told WEEI. “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”
The Texans changed to the field turf pallet system for the majority of 2015 season. Before this season the Texans put in a new field turf system that is rolled out on the NRG floor, the pallets are no longer used.
In 2012, former Texans punter Brett Hartmann sued the Harris County Convention Sports Corp. and SMG for a career-ending ACL injury suffered on the field. The Texans and the NFL were not named in that suit.
The Houston Texans do not comment on ongoing litigation.