We have heard about the benefits of sports science when it comes to fine-tuning athletes and shortening recovery time following physical exertion. But what about when you’re fighting back from serious injury? Seems like an appropriate question, seeing as both Jeremy Maclin and Jason Phillips are about to start on the long road back from ACL tears.
Jason Kelce tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee last September against the Ravens. He began his rehab under Andy Reid and finished it under Chip Kelly. By the sounds of it, there is a noticeable difference in their staffs’ approach.
Where does sports science come into play now when recouping from an injury?
“It’s huge,” said Kelce. “There is a lot of things that they’ve done where they can find data on just the differences between my right and left leg in terms of power output, speed output, strength output. A lot of things they can do to get data and show you how you are improving and getting closer to even on each leg. That’s where a lot of the sports science comes into it.”
We’ve mentioned in this space before that the Eagles have signed on with Catapult Sports, which produces matchbook-size GPS devices packed with sensors that are worn on the uniform to measure things like agility, force and acceleration. This could certainly be one of the tools that the Eagles are using in this process. Armed with the data, they theoretically have a better sense of how far they can push the injured area.
Evan Mathis had minor surgery on his ankle this offseason, and was back in the fold earlier than some expected.
“I was over there with [strength and conditioning coach] Josh Hingst working, and we were able to tell how far you can go without doing too much,” said Mathis. “And if you start cutting into an area where you are doing more harm than good, they pull back. Just take every day as it comes.”
Kelce said that one of the big differences between the previous regime and this one is the way that all parties involved in the rehabilitaion process are interconnected. He gave the example of when he hurt his foot at the very end of his rookie season. According the 25-year-old, he was handled almost exclusively by the training room.
“There wasn’t any rehabilitation really in the weight room, whereas with these guys there is rehabilitation through all levels and everyone knows. It’s a constant communication,” said Kelce. “The training room and the strength staff and the coaches are much more in-sync with each other. It’s more of a working together phase than it was previously.
“I personally feel that what Kelly has done and everything that has been in place for me — the facility upgrades, everything that’s been here — I think I was put in a great situation in terms of coming back from an injury.”