Dr. James Andrews: You have to trick coaches to attend injury-prevention talks

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Famed sports orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews says many NFL coaches are hesitant to learn more about injury prevention within the sport, he told SI's Greg Bishop and Michael McKnight for their special report “Football in America.”

Andrews invited coaches, orthopedic surgeons, biomechanists, trainers and therapists to the football injury-prevention conference he sponsored in April, but coaches were the group with the lowest attendance numbers. 

“I’ve tried to get coaches to come and listen to injury prevention talks,” Andrews said. “You almost have to trick them to come.”

Andrews added that on the field there is “a taboo about even talking to the team doctor.” He serves as the team doctor for the Redskins as well as for Auburn and Alabama.

He noted that since 2000 player size has increased, which has led to an increase in injuries. 

“You get a 350-pound lineman falling into your running back’s knee these days and something’s gotta give,” Andrews said. “All of that has created a need for figuring out how to prevent injuries.”

The full story, which seeks to capture the state of football in America, is the longest and most comprehensive football piece ever published by Sports Illustrated. SI also conducted a Q&A with Andrews. 

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