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Vikings stadium gets approval for new turf that league deems less of an injury risk

U.S. Bank Stadium U.S. Bank Stadium - Joe Robbins/Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority approved Thursday a $1.3 million project for new artificial turf at U.S. Bank Stadium before the 2024 season, putting the Vikings on track to play on a surface the NFL has assessed as less of an injury risk than the venue's current field.

The state agency finalized the cost at its regular meeting. The slit film turf that was installed in 2019 will be torn up early next year and replaced by a monofilament surface that league and union data have determined to be safer and the most like natural grass. The NFL Players Association has called for all stadiums to switch to grass.

When Minnesota played Kansas City on Oct. 8, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (hamstring) and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (ankle) — two of the league's most prolific players — were each injured when they slipped on the turf.

The Detroit Lions, New York Giants and New York Jets are teams whose stadiums have recently replaced the slit film turf. The Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals are the only clubs left currently playing on that style. There's certainly no guarantee of injury prevention, though. The Miami Dolphins recently criticized the new surface at MetLife Stadium after linebacker Jaelen Phillips tore an Achilles tendon.