Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lockout Causes Increased Risk For Injured Players

A forgotten side effect of the NFL lockout is that injured players are not allowed access to either team training/rehabilitation facilities or team trainers and medical staff. It was no accident that two of the Seahawks players that attempted to show up for work at the VMAC yesterday were Roy Lewis and Deon Butler. Both are recovering from injuries.

Whether or not the lack of access to trainers and facilities will have direct impact on injured players recovery is debatable. These are highly paid athletes who must perform at their physical peak to effectively compete. It does not take much to lose one's edge or have an increased risk of re-injury. That is why teams spare no expense in giving players world-class medical support and equipment.

It will be interesting to see if there is any greater recidivism amongst injured players this year, or even just greater injury rates. I can easily see a situation where an injured player uses the court's ruling about the lockout being illegal as justification for a lawsuit against the NFL for depriving him access to the medical care he should have had access to.

So while most folks are focused on the ultimate goal of getting this thing settled before the season starts, allowing some free agent period, and rookie/new player orientation, the group with possibly the most to lose are the players recovering from injury. Add that to the list of reasons we should all hope this ends soon.

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