Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Jan 2013

Chris Clemons Out with Torn ACL

Major loss for the Seattle pass rush as the Seahawks try to win the Super Bowl. Chris Clemons tore his ACL on that awful D.C. turf yesterday and is done for the year, and probably part of next year as well. Unless he's secretly Adrian Peterson.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 07 Jan 2013

26 comments, Last at 09 Jan 2013, 10:56am by ptfe


by robbbbbb (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 8:55pm

Can Clemons file a Workers' Comp claim in Maryland? I'd love to see him dump that one back in Snyder's lap.

The turf in Washington was inexcusable this weekend. I'd peg it as being responsible for two injuries and aggravating a third: Clemons, Seahawks K Hauschka, and Robert Griffin.

For all that some folks claim that Snyder throws his money around, he does it in some really dumb ways while neglecting (relatively) inexpensive fixes that would help his team. Like ensuring a good playing surface.

by bingo762 :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:20am

Probably not worth it. The Seahawks are still going to be paying him his full rate anyway. If it was a fringe player/special teamer then, yeah, it might be worth it. And, in Pennsylvania, there's a cap on how much you can collect. I think it's $200,000. Not sure about Maryland or Washington WC law.

Addendum: Washington's max comp rate is $1,123.78 per week.

by evenchunkiermonkey :: Wed, 01/09/2013 - 2:35am

Clemons will keep getting paid, so there isn't going to be any workers comp claim. Even if he was released due to injury (not going to happen) he'd still recieve an injury settlement (see link below for an explanation of how thats calculated.)


and as for the field conditions being inexcusably awful compared to Lambeau(but remarkably similiar to Soldier Field), its because Snyder doesnt want to shell out for a Grow Light system like some organizations do. (see link below for details)


by Cuenca Guy :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 9:17pm

The turf was unacceptable. I'd like to see some repercussions for Snyder from the NFL...the field was a disgrace.

by RoninX (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 10:03pm

Completely agree, but it'll never happen. Would open the door to all kinds of issues. I mean nfl players never file for workers comp, right? Even though 90% of the time they are injured on the job.

The field *was* a disgrace, but its a slippery slope: do we want players suing Kraft/NE if they are injured on a snowy field? What level of plowing is appropriate? What if someone goes after Allen/Seattle because they get injured on a wet field in Seattle and Seattle intentionally didn't build another dome?

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 10:25pm

Good luck with that, just this season Paul Allen replaced the top of the line FieldTurf with brand new state of the art next generation FieldTurf which is internationally touted as being the safest option available. And afaik the Seahawks are valued as a middle of the pack franchise, not second most valuable in the world.

NFL players can and do file workers comp claims btw.

I think Clemons should also acquire representation and file a criminal complaint against the organization nominally responsible for maintaining FedEX field and Daniel Snyder personally. If the field is intentionally kept in a poor and unsafe condition to produce an effective homefield advantage that seems to be a criminal matter to my mind.

by RoninX (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:06am

Sure, but who is to say whether that state of the art field was being appropriately squeegeed during a game? I'm a Seattle fan, and watched the hawks play the Raiders for years on that half dirt baseball stadium down in Oakland. I've often wondered how appropriate that was. I also watched that Seahawks-Chiefs rainstorm game (98?) and loved it. Maybe its like pornography: impossible to adequately define but clear when you see it. This would pose a problem for the NFL field condition regulations mentioned as a solution below.

You are right about NFL players and workers comp, though apparently they are not eligible in all states.

by ptp (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 7:43pm

I'm not a lawyer but a lot of these things aren't as hard to define as we tend to expect them to be.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:45am

Why on Earth would the Redskins think they would get an advantage for having a lousy playing surface??

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:12pm

Good question. They had their franchise player out there on a bum knee on that crappy field.

by towishimp (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 10:26pm

That's easy; you just create detailed standards to which the playing surface has to meet. If there's anything the NFL can do right, it's create detailed regulations.

by RoninX (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:56pm

Oh, they can create detailed regulations. They just fail miserably at evenhandedly upholding those they put in place.

by Wilsonia (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 2:51pm

Those regulations already exist:

Joseph White Jr. ‏@JGWhiteAP
Got list of NFL rules for playing fields. It's really nerdy: "The playing surface should produce a g-max of less than 100 g"
More NFL field rules: "The infill depth of a playing surface should be measured by using the Floortest FT 50 to calibrate the thickness .."

No idea how they're enforced, though.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:23pm

If they can keep the field conditions in Lambeau looking good this late in the year, it should be no problem in DC. FedEx is only a few years old. You'd think Danny Boy could take his lunch money and buy a nice state-of-the-art field.

by MJK :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:34pm

I wondered if the Redskins intentionally kept the field in bad shape for the game for a competitive edge. The biggest effect a bad field has is to make life more difficult for man DB's and slow down a fast pass rush. Since Seattle has better speed rushers than Washington, I suspect a bad field would disproportionately affect them. Does Seattle play more man to man than Washington?

Or perhaps, simply, Seattle is obviously the better team. By keeping the field in bad shape, it kept the game closer and more affected by random occurrence, and that favors the weaker team.

Or maybe I'm just used to thinking of such things because I'm a Pats fan...

by Bud Bundy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 5:17am

I felt all along that the crappy field was an intentional thing on the Redskins part. I don't know if it inherently favors one type of player over the other, but certainly the Redskins would at least have more experience on that type of surface. If so, it's seems to be a bit of karma that it blew up in their face.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:47am

Simpler explanation: Snyder is cheap.

There is no advantage to be gained by playing 8 home games on a crappy surface that is more likely to cause major injuries.

by Anonymous Jones :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 2:09pm

Well, Occam's Razor is all well and good in a vacuum, but the hypotheses here are not competitive in any real sense. We have a tremendous amount of evidence that Snyder is not "cheap" with the Redskins, as he has commonly pushed the boundaries of the salary cap and has been at the forefront of blowing assistant coach salaries out of pre-existing ranges.

At the same time, I will note that people are complicated, and I know many people who are lavish and generous in many areas of their lives but "cheap out" on the strangest things in the most irrational of ways.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 8:18pm

Until this season the Redskins used to have to travel to a military aircraft hangar (on a military base) to practice indoors. They used to run walkthroughs on tarmac.

That right there ^ is cheap.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:24pm

I don't think you quite appreciate how cheap rich people operate. They are simultaneously big-spending in some areas while stingy in others. Talk to some Redskins' fans about Dan Snyder.

The franchise is worth $1.5 billion, but they don't have a practice bubble like many teams do. Snyder is the kind of businessman who only spends money if he can see a direct, proximate relationship between the money spent and an income stream.

Consider also Charles Comiskey, who was willing to spend the money to build a baseball stadium but was notoriously cheap when it came to his players, even benching Eddie Cicotte before he could reach 30 wins and earn a bonus.

by ptfe :: Wed, 01/09/2013 - 10:56am

Not to defend Dan Snyder, but they actually do have a practice bubble. But having run around there, the practice facilities are built on fill in a floodplain -- unless he's got some Great Drainage Secret, it's probably pretty close to the Fedex surface in a light rain.

Maybe Dan just really wants visiting teams to know Washington is built on foetid swampland.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 4:57pm

A torn up football field isn't the old Boston Garden where the Celtics knew where the dead spots would help them steal the ball. In most cases it would just make things equally miserable for the home team and visitors alike. Now, if the Greatest Show on Turf were the opponent, maybe, but the Seahawks?

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:15pm

So, knowing that RG3 is on a bad knee (he'd been hurt for something like a month) they decide to create the worst surface possible?

by DavidL :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:26pm

Be fair. They chose not to add spikes.

by Tino (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 6:09pm

The field has been torn up for at least the last 2 months according to reports, well before RGIII was hurt. I'm no lawn care expert, but growing new grass with deep enough roots to withstand trampling on it with spikes is a time consuming process. Plus it would look rather suspicious if the Redskins suddenly repaired the field only after he was hurt.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:15pm

The Patriots installed their new FieldTurf surface during an away week back in 2006.

There would be nothing "suspicious" about replacing a bad field with a much better field, even in the middle of the season.

Growing a natural grass field would of course take more time. You can get squares of turf from landscapers to drop onto the ground - I don't know how long it would take for them to be usable as a playing surface but I don't think it should be so long.