Wednesday’s one-liners mentioned Rams tackle Rodger Saffold’s effort to recover from a pectoral injury. Several years ago, he almost suffered an injury from which there’s no recovery.
Saffold tells Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that, between his sophomore and junior seasons at Indiana University, a training session nearly claimed Saffold’s life.
After an early-morning workout, he decided to run the bleachers at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. Eventually, he didn’t feel right.
“I had chest pains, which I thought were just part of being tired,” Saffold said.
A trainer checked Saffold, and the trainer determined that he was on the verge of cardiac arrest, based on fatigue, overexertion, and too many caffeine-laced energy drinks. The trainer put Saffold immediately into a cold shower.
Saffold recently shared his experiences at a meeting of the National Athletic Trainers Association.
“It helps you understand how important it is for athletic trainers to have education to point out things that student athletes can’t see,” Saffold said. “Sometimes an ache can be a broken bone. [Trainers] have to know what you’re doing and tell the players how to take care of their body. [Players] have to listen to your athletic trainers.”
Amen to that. As preseason practices approach at every level of the sport, it’s important for all coaches, players, and trainers to remember that the long-term health and well-being of the players means so much more than whether or not they can prove that they know how to “suck it up.”