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  • Writer's pictureDr. Bruce

Injury report: Doc’s Combine Thoughts

It’s been 40 plus years since the NFL Combine originated. It’s my understanding that one of the main reasons that it was started was to allow all the teams to get a medical evaluation of the draft prospects without having each team bear the costs and time to evaluate each player. This medical evaluation of the players continues to be a major part of the combine process. Each player’s medical history is closely reviewed, physical examinations are done and any additional testing with X-ray, MRI, lab work can be done on site so that each team can have the information to assist them with their draft decisions And the players don’t need to go through multiple tests and exams for each individual team. Not a bad system if you ask me.

Now most casual viewers of the combine just watch the drills and clock the 40 times. Although they are fun to watch for the most part they are not a huge part of most team’s decisions of which players they will draft. There are some players that definitely improve their draft status and a few that might lower their ranking. The player’s work during their college years and hours of film study by scouts as well as the med evaluation and brief interview with the team are more important. Remember that football is an extremely physical sport and the medical evaluation is critical to determine the ability of a player to perform and attempt to predict the longevity of his career. I mean Do you want a lineman who has played for years without an injury or one that has had 3 knee surgeries but might be one tenth of a second faster in the 40? Do you take a chance on the injured knees? Maybe you can take that chance IF you have a good physical and MRI showing that his knees are fine.

As a physician I always wish I could get some of the information that our team medical staff has to review and wonder how much the coach and GM take that into consideration when they set up their draft board.

For now. I still like watching the drills and will try to keep up with any known injuries or medical conditions that might arise in some of the possible picks that the Bills might put on their board. 55 days to the draft. Tick tick tick. The offseason continues

Dr.Bruce

P.S. my 40 time is SLOW




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1 Comment


Rob Mullen
Rob Mullen
Mar 04, 2023

Dr. Bruce....you bring us some key aspects of the overall impact a players health and well-being play a part in that players draft stock.


I can give you a few key examples of your point you made....for the Bills, in particular, this held true of the recovery Willis McGahee was making at the time as he was selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft simply because of the "Medical Advice" of our team doctors and his Manager, Drew Rosenhaus.


We reviewed every piece of evidence from every physical and report in relation to the condition of the MCL and the ACL....which all gave us the "Green Light' to take him earlier than anyone anticipated he'd be selected.


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