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Heat sends pair of Bills to the hospital

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Nearly 13 years ago, Korey Stringer died from the heat at Vikings training camp.  Since then, the NFL and NFLPA have become more and more careful about exposing players to unsafe temperatures.  (Highs, not lows.  Yet.)

And so it’s a surprise, to say the least, to see that a pair of Bills players ended up in the hospital due to the heat.

Via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, tight end Chris Gragg and fullback Evan Rodriguez weren’t at practice on Wednesday due to heat-related illness.  Both went to the hospital, and Gragg (as of Rodak’s last tweet) remains there.

It’s a problem most thought had been conclusively solved in the aftermath of Stringer’s passing.  And while it’s not entirely out of the ordinary for a player here or there to experience health-related consequences to practicing in the heat, a pair of hospitalized NFL athletes becomes a red flag that both the league and the union should immediately explore.

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43 Responses to “Heat sends pair of Bills to the hospital”
  1. thevikingdefender says: Jul 23, 2014 11:49 AM

    RIP Korey Stringer..

  2. bassplucker says: Jul 23, 2014 11:49 AM

    Evan Rodriguez is still in the league? He was a bust for my Bears… didn’t know someone else was giving him a chance.

  3. goraidersgospurs says: Jul 23, 2014 11:50 AM

    Just build every team dome!!!

  4. joetoronto says: Jul 23, 2014 11:50 AM

    Wow, I can’t believe Korey Stringer died 13 years ago, that’s wild.

  5. pooflingingmonkey says: Jul 23, 2014 11:51 AM

    They won’t have that problem when they move to Toronto. Mild summers in the Great White North.

  6. wwwmattcom says: Jul 23, 2014 11:54 AM

    Too hot in Buffalo!

  7. officialgame says: Jul 23, 2014 11:56 AM

    Very important that the players hydrate BEFORE practice starts. This is serious stuff and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  8. jjackwagon says: Jul 23, 2014 11:57 AM

    proper hydration is the key to surviving high temps. If you don’t start hydrating a couple of days before the activity there is no way to catch up during the event.

  9. honkeyt says: Jul 23, 2014 11:58 AM

    Weaklings. Thanks Goodell.

  10. jnbnet says: Jul 23, 2014 12:00 PM

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. The only way to avoid this is to have a “Hydration Coach” . Staying well hydrated leads to less injuries. A dehydrated body will cramp more. that can lead to pulling muscles, which in turn can lead to lingering injuries. If a team had a trainer who’s sole job was to ensure that the players consumed a certain amount of fluids every day.

  11. bonnovi says: Jul 23, 2014 12:00 PM

    Time for a Health Care bills joke.

  12. bridgeh20mvp says: Jul 23, 2014 12:00 PM

    I had heat stoke 10 years ago while landscaping my back yard on a 95° day, with high humidity! Until that day, I never thought twice about working outside. Now, because of that day, if I am out in that high heat for just minutes, my body goes into a “shock” of sorts and I begin to feel sick and shytty!
    My point is, if any of these guys have pushed their limit in the past, they are not able to endure the same intensity as the other players! Hope they end up ok!! It’s a scary ordeal! As a Viking fan , this is close to home. Losing a class act like Cory Stringer to the hear was especially tough! Prayers to these guys!

  13. garyridgway says: Jul 23, 2014 12:02 PM

    Never heard of em’

  14. thepftpoet says: Jul 23, 2014 12:02 PM

    This never happens in Minnesota.

    Our temperatures are perfect in the summer, a nice 80 degree weather every day with a cool breeze on our practice fields in Mankato.

    Plus our players are in shape, so the heat wouldn’t affect them either way.

    That’s why were head and shoulders above every other franchise.

  15. laughingstockmafia says: Jul 23, 2014 12:05 PM

    The new owner will build them an indoor training facility in Los Angeles

  16. clashpoint says: Jul 23, 2014 12:08 PM

    I’m gonna go drink a glass of water right now, just in case. Then crank up my air conditioning. I might not be a pro football player, but I do live in a desert, so better safe than sorry. Heat stroke is serious business.

  17. ds211 says: Jul 23, 2014 12:08 PM

    wwwmattcom says:
    Jul 23, 2014 11:54 AM
    Too hot in Buffalo!

    ************************************

    Al Gore says it about climate change!

  18. jayhawk6 says: Jul 23, 2014 12:10 PM

    Given the horror left by Corey Stringer’s passing, why is it that coaches or trainers would keep a player on the practice field to the extent that hospitalization would be necessary for recuperation?

    Where is the NFLPA?

    If the players wanted to create a sense of urgency or necessity for situations such as this, they should figure out a way to get the Commish into pads and onto to the practice when the temperatures approach 100 degrees.

  19. granadafan says: Jul 23, 2014 12:11 PM

    Time for the Waterboy to step up and take their place on the field.

  20. skoobyfl says: Jul 23, 2014 12:18 PM

    They need a big cooling machine out there, like a freezer that you walk through just to cool off a little.

  21. somethinghappeninghere says: Jul 23, 2014 12:23 PM

    Which of course is one reason the NFL refuses to schedule a Bills-Dolphins game in Miami in September…but on the other hand they’ll schedule a Dolphins-Bills game in Buffalo in December!

    In 2002 the NFL refused to let the Dolphins enter the AFC South as they realigned the league, supposedly because of AFC East traditional rivalries…but the Colts leave! Since then, the Dolphins have pretty much sucked…conspiracy theory?

  22. imageflood says: Jul 23, 2014 12:40 PM

    As a devoted Bills fan, this seems like a serious problem on the part of the Bills’ training staff. It’s been hot in WNY, but nothing far out of the ordinary for July/August. The training staff should have prepared all players with proper hydration, at the very least. I think they are a major reason why the club hasn’t been to the playoffs for so long. Ever wonder why Buffalo has so many key injuries every season? It’s not (just) bad luck.

  23. ghost26 says: Jul 23, 2014 12:43 PM

    ‘In 2002 the NFL refused to let the Dolphins enter the AFC South as they realigned the league, supposedly because of AFC East traditional rivalries…but the Colts leave! Since then, the Dolphins have pretty much sucked…conspiracy theory?’

    Give me a break…The Dolphins have been a terribly run organization since Huzienga bought the team from the Roby family. Bad coaches + bad drafts=Bad teams

  24. chalkruz1989 says: Jul 23, 2014 12:47 PM

    I can remember the Korey Stringer incident like it happened yesterday. I was only 11-years old and I was in Disney World on family vacation.

    I was so confused, wondering how the heat took the life of such a large man. Obviously with age I have learned much more and it’s scary.

    Some of these guys are running wind sprints, gassers and conducting running tests at weights exceeding 300 pounds.

    Don’t want anything like that to happen to anyone, it’s sad.

  25. glasselephantkungfu says: Jul 23, 2014 12:53 PM

    What is going to happen to these guys when the team moves to LA?

  26. Bill Belitext says: Jul 23, 2014 12:54 PM

    somethinghappeninghere says:
    Jul 23, 2014 12:23 PM
    Which of course is one reason the NFL refuses to schedule a Bills-Dolphins game in Miami in September…but on the other hand they’ll schedule a Dolphins-Bills game in Buffalo in December!

    In 2002 the NFL refused to let the Dolphins enter the AFC South as they realigned the league, supposedly because of AFC East traditional rivalries…but the Colts leave! Since then, the Dolphins have pretty much sucked…conspiracy theory?

    =====================

    I am not up on the Bills/Dolphins year to year scheduling, but I am familiar with the Patriots/Dolphins and every other year the Pats get hosed by the schedule, so it all works out in the end. For example, this year (even number year) the Pats dont get hosed, they travel to Miami in Sept (when it is hot, advantage Miami) and Miami travels to New England in Dec (when it is cold, advantage NE). But next year (odd number year) the Dolphins come to New England in Sept (when its hot, advantage Miami) and New England travels to Miami in Dec (when it is hot, advantage Miami)…

    I am sure there are plenty of other examples that work for or against certain teams. I am of the opinion that within the division, every team should be given the home field advantage when there is a weather related advantage to be had. But the problem is (looking at the AFC East), the Dolphins completely F it up because they are the outcast. Bills, Pats, Jets are all cold weather teams. My home field advantage theory would force the Dolphins to travel to NY, Buff, NE every Dec, and host all 3 every Sept. But that forces the Phins to go on the road for 75% of Dec, and that much travel at the end of the year would negatively affect them.

    The solution would be to have 2 cold weather teams and 2 warm weather teams in the division. For example, you swap out Buffalo for Jax and then the 2 warm weather teams host the 2 cold weather teams in Sept, and the 2 cold host the 2 warm in Dec. Problem solved.

    I should add, I dont actually want to swap teams around from one division to another, I am just saying that it will always be unfair to someone with the current format

  27. billsboy88 says: Jul 23, 2014 1:20 PM

    Maybe time to start having camp in the regular indoor practice facility next to the Ralph?

  28. kgun80 says: Jul 23, 2014 1:38 PM

    Yes.. It gets hot in Buffalo!

    Did someone really just say the Pats get hosed by when the games are scheduled? Go back and look at the Bills schedule.. We always, ALWAYS play at least 2 division road games against teams with either 10 days rest or coming off a bye.

  29. beyond2k says: Jul 23, 2014 2:06 PM

    ummm…it’s only 68 degrees here right now.

  30. wutangwild says: Jul 23, 2014 2:10 PM

    Man I still remember the day hearing that Korey Stringer died, crazy that that was 13 years ago. RIP to Stringer, and hope for a quick recovery for the two Bills players.

  31. f1restarter says: Jul 23, 2014 2:18 PM

    Bills > Vikings.

  32. bassplucker says: Jul 23, 2014 3:13 PM

    Oh, OK. Here I thought it was just some players from Miami’s NBA team causing trouble again.

  33. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 23, 2014 3:15 PM

    Is this a joke? I checked the temperature for Rochester, NY and it is 71 degrees right now with a high expected around 73.

    I’m calling this out as baloney and if these guys were running around on South Beach today with temps in the 90s, they wouldn’t ask to go to the hospital.

    Come on man!

  34. blackbug99 says: Jul 23, 2014 3:15 PM

    Bill Belitext….

    The solution would be to have 2 cold weather teams and 2 warm weather teams in the division. For example, you swap out Buffalo for Jax and then the 2 warm weather teams host the 2 cold weather teams in Sept, and the 2 cold host the 2 warm in Dec. Problem solved.
    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Next, we’ll only play under sunny skies, not keep score, and every team gets a Lombardi!!!

  35. flexx91 says: Jul 23, 2014 3:27 PM

    Hot in Buffalo? Imagine practicing in Houston, New Orleans, Miami, or Tampa every day.

  36. bassplucker says: Jul 23, 2014 3:41 PM

    Usually the hospital sends bills to you…

  37. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Jul 23, 2014 3:46 PM

    Cowards.

  38. swagger52 says: Jul 23, 2014 3:50 PM

    I sure wish Brady could have played in the AFC North versus AFC L east. Given the lack of competition, the Patriots are a given for the playoffs.

  39. swagger52 says: Jul 23, 2014 3:51 PM

    Yep..just a matter of time before they move way north (60 miles) to Toronto. It is all a vast wing conspiracy to move the Bills.

  40. misteranderson41 says: Jul 23, 2014 4:07 PM

    upstate NY in July / August is awful….high 80s / low 90s and as close as you can get to 100% humidity as is possible….

  41. mackcarrington says: Jul 23, 2014 4:45 PM

    And ignorant people only associate WNY with cold weather.

  42. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 23, 2014 7:52 PM

    For those acting like NY can get hot in the summer, check the weather channel for 7/23. A high in the low 70s which will be the low temps in the south. Stop crying. You don’t know what heat is.

  43. yeahthedolphinsmakemecry says: Jul 29, 2014 6:52 AM

    dallascowboysdishingthereal: you are ignorant. Dallas isnt the only place that gets hot

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