Stop me if you've heard this before. Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams was making waves on social media again Sunday night when the NFL decided to cancel the Hall of Fame game with the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers due to unsafe field conditions.
Although all of you reading this should have told me to stop by now, this time Williams wasn't off base with his comments regarding the NFL.
See what he said:
Hey @NFL it was that terrible last year but u didn't cancel the game we had our kicker tear his acl and a few mcl strains so thanks— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) August 8, 2016
What Williams was referring to was the Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame game in 2015 which had equally as bad turf, and saw several players injured, most notably kicker Shaun Suisham who suffered a torn ACL which ultimately ended his career.
The NFL had the turf field replaced prior to the 2016 game, and it was the paint on the field which was the main issue Sunday night, and it just puts an emphasis on the NFL trying to protect the players. New to the league this year is a committee who will gauge field safety for a multitude of factors. For instance, when the St. Louis Rams field caught on fire prior to their game with Pittsburgh in 2015, this committee would have ruled the field unsafe for play until the field crew was able to get the field up to par.
Either way, Williams' comments, which certainly sparked more than a few fires on Twitter, are not unique as it is most likely what every fan of the Steelers was thinking when it was announced the game was cancelled.
While the NFL is making strides in player safety, they still have a ways to go until they are protecting players in all ways, not just those related to head injuries.
The real question for me, at this point, is whether the field conditions committee would have a regular season, or postseason, game canceled or delayed if the field conditions were deemed unsafe. A late January game at Lambeau Field could have temperatures below zero, and a frozen surface. I'm sure the league is hoping they don't have to make this type of decision, but although the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game was the right thing to do, it makes you wonder how serious they truly are about keeping players as safe as possible.