D.C. Jefferson, Khaled Holmes injured on the Combine bench press

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On the first day of bench press work at the Scouting Combine, two players had to stop with injuries.

Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson’s injury sounds like it could be serious. He was taken to an Indianapolis hospital, and his agent told USA Today that he might have suffered a torn pectoral muscle. That’s a serious injury that could prevent him from doing any pre-draft workouts, and as Jefferson was viewed as a late-round pick already, it could move him right out of the draft.

USC center Khaled Holmes suffered a strained pectoral muscle on the bench press, but it sounds like his injury is not as serious as Jefferson’s. Jason La Canfora of CBS reported that Holmes isn’t sure if he’ll be able to do the on-field work for offensive linemen on Saturday.

Kent State guard Brian Winters also stopped his bench press early because he was in pain, but he later said it was just a muscle cramp and he’d be fine.

This is the first time in 16 years that Cardinals strength coach John Lott hasn’t been the man running the Combine bench press. Lott became a favorite of NFL Network because of the way he’d shout at players to push themselves, but some agents expressed concern that Lott was going to get someone hurt by pushing players too hard.

Serious injuries at the Combine are rare, but they do happen. Last year Iowa tackle Markus Zusevics tore his pectoral muscle during the bench press and went undrafted, although he did sign with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent. Former Florida State wide receiver De’Cody Fagg suffered a very serious knee injury while doing drills at the Combine in 2008, an injury that was feared to be career-ending. Fagg never played in the NFL but he did eventually recover and play Arena football.

Although players obviously want to give it their all at the Combine, the wise thing to do is shut it down at the first sign of pain. Trying to gut out an extra bench press rep isn’t worth the risk of an injury.

22 responses to “D.C. Jefferson, Khaled Holmes injured on the Combine bench press

  1. On the flip side, these young men risking injury to compete against their peers is competitor spirit — and make no mistake, it is competition — something thus far that has escaped the majority of the leagues scouts.

    here’s to hoping that neither injuries are serious and for a speedy recover by both of these young men.

  2. wait so players benched already? or just Olinemen? I want to see if Jesse Williams sets the bench press record like he said he would

  3. If course it’s worth the risk. Every time these guys step on the field they’re taking enormous risks. The reason they take the risk is that the reward is so great.

    D.C. Jefferson was not going to be a first round pick. May not have been drafted at all (although I LOVE the name D.C. Jefferson, and if the Redskins don’t take a chance on this guy they’re nuts). He had to push himself to the point of injury. It’s what the job he’s trying to get requires.

  4. So the guy who doesn’t scream has caused as many injuries as the screamer. Nice sissification NFL. It’s like the NFL is becoming the adult version of mighty mites. Participation ribbons are just around the corner.

  5. Even without John Lott acting obnoxious.

    New Rule, if you have the bench press “down” at your training facility do the bench press on your pro day.

    You may be able to the prevent injury by doing that.

    For those unaware the bench press is about endurance and upper body strength, but to determine upper body strength is pointless because explosiveness from an athlete comes from the lower body. So by doing drills that show explosion the athlete has little to lose because he can at least show that he is a great athlete.

    Chris Long does not have a 225 lb bench press recording. He skipped it at the combine and I could not find one for his pro day. Where did he go in the draft?

  6. I have a novel idea…. stop bouncing the fcuking bar off your fcuking sternums. Cheating does not equal real strength, it just means you’re retarded enough to injure yourself just so you can press a few more reps. You’ll never see garbage like that in a powerlifting meet, let alone your typical Globo Gym.

  7. seanb20124 says:
    Feb 23, 2013 8:29 AM
    Amazing you would think these players doing these exercises all the time Without injury

    Usually when you lift you aren’t gunning for 20-30 reps on the bench press. Also you don’t have every scout watching you and the NFL network filming it/talking about how good or poor your performance was.

  8. those guys are absolute wusses. Anyone off the street can bench 400 pounds, doing 225 less than 20 times is a MAJOR problem in my opinion – at ANY position.

  9. Boy it’s a good thing they got rid of John Lott, the screaming bench press “motivator” or there would be injuries!

  10. I know it looks bad for an athlete to skip the combine but most GMs say the combine doesn’t change their draftboards anyway so why on earth participate if the only thing you gain is the risk of injury?

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