In a piece of news that should keep observers wondering about the Green Bay Packers' injury epidemic, trainer Bryan "Flea" Engel was named the NFC Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society at the NFL's Scouting Combine this past weekend in Indianapolis, according to the Packers official website.
According to writer Mike Spofford:
Engel is the third member of the Packers’ medical staff to be honored in recent years. Dr. Patrick McKenzie received the Jerry “Hawk” Rhea award as the NFL’s outstanding team physician in 2011, while Burruss received the Fain Cain Memorial Award as the league’s top athletic trainer last year.
There's two ways to react to this development: 1) Why are the Packers suffering injuries at a nearly league-leading rate if the medical staff is so good? Or 2) Why is the medical staff being honored if they perhaps aren't deserving?
There's no simple answer to these questions. Both general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy discussed the preponderance of injuries at the Combine this past weekend, but neither had solutions to the problem.
"There’s no exact science, no," said Thompson. "We, over the course of the last 20 years that I’ve been involved in drafts every year and sometimes you take a player that’s never even been in the training room at their university and once they get to the NFL, they have trouble staying healthy. And vice-verse. You have people who’ve had incredibly bad luck or bad injuries in college or in high school and they wind up playing clean and free the rest of their pro career. There’s no exact science. You certainly try to look at that and try to find out. That’s the reason medical examinations are so important, but there’s no exact correlation to it."