For roughly three hours on Sundays, NFL players put their bodies through the ringer playing one of the most physically demanding games in sports.
It makes one wonder, what is a Monday like around the 32 NFL training facilities?
Detroit Lions head athletic trainer Kevin Bastin described what Mondays are like in Allen Park when speaking to fans at Detroit’s annual Season Ticket Member Summit last week.
“Monday morning is a big day for us,” said Bastin, who oversees the team’s medical operations and has 25 years of NFL experience in athletic training. “Our medical team of doctors and my staff … have an injury clinic that lasts about three hours.”
During that time Monday morning, Bastin and his medical staff of 12 evaluate the players that were injured the day before. A lot of special testing is being done during this time in the form of X-rays, MRI’s and ultrasounds.
“Everything that we can pick up on a players healthcare and to start the treatment process, because they’re going to have to go back and do this for 17 weeks and hopefully 21 weeks,” Bastin said.
“All that medical information we gather up on Monday morning, it’s our job to then meet with coach (Matt) Patricia and Mr. Quinn (GM Bob Quinn) and we give them the information on who we’re going to have available for the next game. It’s a little bit of crystal ball work, but also experience, that gives us the ability to know whether or not that player is going to be available.”
Last season, the Lions had 38 different players show up on the injury report throughout 17 weeks.
After assessing a player’s injury, Bastin and his team put together an individual healthcare plan for each player. Then rehab begins.
Every player gets banged up in some way, shape or form throughout the course of an NFL season. There’s a saying in the NFL that it’s not a matter of if injury will happen, but when.
When the healthcare plan for every injured player is developed, Bastin and the medical team try to project their availability in the days and weeks moving forward.
Every day during the NFL season is a busy one in the training room, but Mondays are particularly hectic as Bastin and his medical staff do their best to form a plan and start the rehab process to safely get the players back on the field when they're ready.