Vikings, NFL provide trainers to high schools

The Vikings and NFL are combining with TRIA Orthopaedic to ensure Minneapolis and St. Paul public school have certified athletic trainers for their football programs.

The Minnesota Vikings are partnering with the NFL and TRIA Orthopaedic to ensure that every public high school in Minneapolis and St. Paul will have an athletic trainer on the sideline for football games and practices this fall.

The Vikings announced the $50,000 grant on Monday. The grant, which is split by the Vikings and the NFL, will give every football program in those school districts a certified athletic trainer. TRIA will also conduct neurocognitive baseline testing for concussion management and offer ACL injury prevention programs.

Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman says the initiative is aimed at preventing injuries and helping players who do get hurt recover from those injuries.

The Vikings and Bears are the first two teams to use the program, but the NFL says three others have applied and another 10 have expressed interest.

PETERSON PROMOTES ANAPHYLACTIC PREPAREDNESS


Adrian Peterson has many endorsements, and this one hits as close to home as any.

The Vikings star has been adding his voice to a campaign to encourage kids with severe allergies like his to be prepared, that carrying an epinephrine auto-injector is not uncool.

Peterson is a paid spokesman for Mylan Specialty. That’s the pharmaceutical company and maker of the EpiPen. Peterson needed it two years ago during training camp to survive a reaction to shellfish he ate at lunch and didn’t realize he was allergic to.

Peterson filmed an educational video over the weekend with three kids with food allergies. They won a national contest to meet him as part of the Ready2Go awareness campaign, after submitting videos about how they’re prepared for anaphylaxis attacks.

NFL, FIFA JOIN FORCES TO EVALUATE CONCUSSIONS


Medical officials from the NFL, FIFA and other sports organizations are banding together to look into better ways to identify, manage and treat concussions.

The “think tank,” funded by an educational grant from the NFL, was held Sunday and Monday at league headquarters in New York. Dozens of scientific and medical personnel from football, rugby and equestrian circles participated.

Dr. Rich Ellenbogen, chairman of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee, said the various sports organizations “need to look at all variations of what is being done around the world.”

“This will change the paradigm,” Ellenbogen said of such cooperation among sports. “How can we accelerate the information? This can provide a unique perspective to get people back to health. There are a lot of big ideas that can come out of this that resonated with all the leagues that may have not come up if they had done it in isolation.”

Among those on hand were FIFA’s chief medical officer, Dr. Jiri Dvorak; Dr. Martin Raftery of the International Rugby Board; Dr. Willem Meeuwisse of the University of Calgary’s sports injury prevention research center; and Dr. Paul McCrory, an associate professor at Australia’s Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

McCrory, who works with Australian Rules Football, also emphasized the need to work collectively.

“This is an exciting development in the science of sports concussion,” he said. “Working with international sports leaders not only benefits athletes in professional sports but amateur participants throughout the world.”

Handling concussions was a major topic at the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil. In the wake of FIFA being criticized during the tournament for not effectively policing concussions, Dvorak insisted that the team doctor has final say over players returning to action after an apparent head injury.

He promised that FIFA would make it clear who is in charge if a player is suspected to be concussed.

“There is a controversy about overruling the decision of the team doctor,” he said. “From FIFA’s side, we will strengthen the position of the team doctor, as we did already in the past.”

More meetings are planned, perhaps as soon as later this year. The methodology for future research must be determined, as well as which sports might have particularly strong insight into certain treatments. Funding for any initiatives must also still be decided.


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