Dr. James Andrews: 5 quotes on the NFL's injury problem

Written by Angie Stewart | September 09, 2019 | Print  |

Sports Illustrated's list of "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL's First Century" featured prominent sports medicine physician James Andrews, MD — and rightfully so.

A founding member of the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Fla., Dr. Andrews has made significant contributions to the advancement of sports medicine and served as team physician for organizations including the Washington Redskins and Auburn Tigers.

A staunch advocate for football injury prevention, he supports Alabama's Coach Safely Act, which involves a free training course for coaches of young athletes. He is also promoting a similar bill in Florida.

During a recent interview with Pensacola News Journal, part of the USA Today network, Dr. Andrews went into depth about football injury prevention, the NFL's problematic schedule and more.

Five key quotes from the interview:

On the main causes of NFL injuries: "I think we have way too many games already. I'd like to see the fatigue factor eliminated to some degree. It's really related to the injuries that we see. Football, like all sports, has become a year-round involvement. These NFL, college and even high school players, they have something going on 12 months a year."

On NFL preseason cuts: "I think, personally, having four preseason games and keeping all these wannabe, filler-type players for four games before they cut anybody is a little bit taking advantage of these players that are obviously not going to make the team."

On the possibility that the NFL will shorten its preseason but extend the regular season: "Like anything in a capitalist society, the mighty dollar still dictates what happens out there. I hope the NFL doesn't try to go after the financial aspects by adding games. … More regular-season games, more teams in the playoffs. A longer work period just to make more money at the expense of the players."

On how sports injuries have changed: "[Football]'s a lot more competitive game than we had in the '70s and '80s. It's changed in the fact that they're bigger, stronger, hit harder and run faster. I think there are more injuries now than there used to be."

On what increases the risk of injury: "Even in college, we're playing more games than we probably should. Particularly if you go to the playoffs like Alabama has been doing. The more games you play, the more risk for injury you have."

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