Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) makes a catch against San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) during the second quarter of the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers: Could GPS help ease the players' pain?


Detroit Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff blocks Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports photograph

 

As every Green Bay Packers fan  knows, too many injuries can really hurt a team’s chances to excel in the NFL.

The seasons are short, leaving little time to put distance between yourself and division foes. Because of this, teams need to stay as healthy as they can.

As a whole, the NFL has worked to prevent injuries such as concussions with monitoring athletes. Catapult Sports, one of several Australian-based companies compiles live data on athletic exertion recorded by a GPS embedded in jerseys. The GPS measures player movement during training and games. It compiles data on speed to the force of collisions and friction created by the playing surface.

The goals of this are to maximize athlete performance and minimize injuries, which are problems in the NFL. Nearly 400 coaches in different sports leagues around the world have incorporated this kind of data into their programs.

A great example of the potential in this technology is in the Florida Seminoles. Coach, Jimbo Fisher, said his team’s soft-tissue injuries, have dropped by 88 percent since it bought the technology two years ago.

Could a technology like this help reduce injuries in the Packers organization?

One could argue that the Packers’ biggest problem this past year was injuries, specifically  hamstring pulls. Eight Packers had been sidelined in the first few games of the season, costing them a collective 41 practices and seven regular-season games.

Right now, Catapult counts 14 teams among its NFL clients. The Green Bay Packers are not one of them.

Many injuries in the NFL and in the Packers’ organization have a strong potential to happen in training camp where high intensity workouts are repeated on a daily basis. The technology would allow coaches to monitor which guys are running more yards and are stressing their bodies more than others. The stress could lead to unnecessary pulls or tears that could hamper an athlete’s performance throughout the season.

It certainly wouldn’t prevent a broken collarbone or leg but this sort of technology could start catching on in the NFL.

It’s certainly a challenging idea to some coaching philosophies but some teams could benefit from technology like this.  In addition, one couldn’t remove all injuries from the NFL.  Injuries are going to happen, but not all injuries.

Could the Green Bay Packers benefit from something like this?

 

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