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New York Giants One of Eight NFL Teams That Will Put Player Medical Records Online in 2013

July 18th, 2013 at 10:30 AM
By Dan Benton

The NFL will introduce a new pilot program this season which would put an athlete's entire medical history online so that team physicians would be able to have it readily available should they need it. Eight teams, including the New York Giants, will take part in this program.

The information, which will include anything from past X-Rays to casual notes, will be stored on iPads and made available on the sidelines during each game.

"Let's say [a player] starts out with the Rams, and then he's either cut or traded or leaves as a free agent, goes to the Denver Broncos, then the information will be portable," said Matthew Matava, head team physician for the St. Louis Rams and president of the NFL Physicians Society. "The Denver doctors will then have any information that was accrued while he was in St. Louis. Like any other electronic medical record, it will be portable with the player and therefore very accurate."

Although many ins and outs of this new program still need to be ironed out, the biggest concern comes from the availability of medical records for free agents — mainly in that players wouldn't want their medical history preventing them from getting a job.

"We are still discussing how to handle free agent medical records with the union," the NFL said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. "It is a work in progress. We will not use the EMR to share records between teams until after the pilot stage of the program."

In addition to the Giants, the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers will participate in this program.

Photo credit: Chess REO / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Denver, Denver Broncos, Football, Houston, Houston Texans, New England, New England Patriots, New York, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

17 Responses to “New York Giants One of Eight NFL Teams That Will Put Player Medical Records Online in 2013”

  1.  jfunk says:

    The thing that stands out the most to me in that QB list is Tarkenton.

    You don’t see any other guys with 196X- next to their name up there.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Tarkenton was amazing. His scrambles were masterpieces. I actually think he and Archie Manning are the most underrated quarterbacks to play in the NFL.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Unitas, Graham, Staubach, Starr, Marino, Montana, and Elway were the best I ever saw. Sammy Baugh deserves to be in that pantheon, but I never saw him play. Archie Manning should have been there but a career with the Saints doomed him. Steve Young, Warren Moon, Dan Fouts and Fran Tarkenton were close but not quite at the same level.

    Peyton and Brady are already holding tickets for the ride up to Olympus. I think Eli, Rodgers and Luck will be following them someday.

    In the end, any “rankings” mean little. That can be argued forever. That’s why the players want those rings so badly. No arguing with that. You either have them or you don’t.

  3.  kujo says:

    Wow. Now it all makes sense–dump Bradshaw to save money AND bandwidth. Now if they can get rid of Keith Rivers, they can dump the extra server needed to keep up with his litany of bumps and bruises.

    •  fanfor55years says:


      But this whole issue of records that are easily transferred to anyone seeking that data is a serious issue. Is the union going to allow teams to see a full medical record for prospective free agents? Would those disclosures result in potential employment discrimination suits? Would any of us want our medical records available to any future employer just for the asking? What if you had a nervous breakdown a decade earlier? Would FedEx refuse to hire people with a history of arthritic issues, even if they have them under control with medication? What would HIPPA regulations demand of the teams? Sounds like it could be a can of worms.

      •  kujo says:

        Yeah, all that is true. FWIW, I think if my medical records showed that I had a debilitating fear of public speaking and a demonstrable difficulty reading due to my incredibly poor vision, the principal at the new school I’ll be teaching at should know prior to offering me employment. The same goes here–it’s not discrimination if a team evaluates these medical records and decides not to offer millions of dollars to player who is constantly injured. There’s no “right” to work for an NFL team, and being unable to reliably perform without getting hurt sounds like a good reason to not have a job.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I’m thinking this will only be transferred after a player signs with a new team. Otherwise there’s no way the union would allow this.

        •  fanfor55years says:

          I don’t disagree with you and in fact think that ANY information that is directly related to the capability of doing a job should be legally available to a prospective employer.

          But I think this area is a legal minefield.

          Could a team that wanted to retain a free agent on the cheap have a medical “opinion” that the player was unlikely to be able to avoid surgery within two years for his “deteriorated” knee? On what basis could they include that in his “records”? What if he can get two opinions that suggest the original opinion is wrong? Will players refuse to use team-preferred doctors for examinations and surgery? Will players start staying out of the trainer’s room and getting treatment that they hope the team will not find out about?

          If I were the union reps I would be VERY suspicious of this initiative. I certainly wouldn’t trust the owners to avoid abusing it.

  4.  Krow says:

    I know we always point to our last Superbowl as proof that ‘Fewell’s schemes can win’. And I’ve made that observation myself from time to time. But let’s not forget that there’s also ample proof that it can fail.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      It’s chances of “succeeding” go up considerably when paired with a very dynamic offense (thereby putting pressure on the opponent to go to a play mix that emphasizes passing) and a strong defense up the middle that confounds an opponent’s running game.

      But IMO it still relies too much on turnovers (which I think can be Fool’s Gold when you get to a playoff game against an opponent that protects the ball well) and the crucial stop at crucial moments in the game (which has not been the strength of Fewell’s defense since he got here except in that playoff game against Atlanta when we all have to admit those fourth down stands made a HUGE amount of difference and actually turned the defense more aggressive through the remainder of the playoffs).

      Truth be told, I think THIS season will be the telling one for his defense and his philosophy. By the end of next April I believe the Giants will be building a really good, relatively young, defense with personnel that can probably adapt to any scheme. Given that John Mara would kill to host the Super Bowl that has his team in it (ironically, as the “visiting” team), I think he will be watching that defense awfully close this season. A lot of the fate of the 2013 Giants rides on their backs.

      •  Krow says:

        Fewell’s defense works well against teams that don’t execute. It capitalizes on mistakes. Unfortunately you need to beat the better teams to make a playoff run, and they’re the ones that DO execute.

        And as I recall … in our last Superbowl run there were a lot of players talking about ‘simplifying the D’, ‘going back to basics’, and ‘playing Giants football’. In other words they backed off his stuff.

      •  jfunk says:

        I don’t necessarily think anybody in the NFL believes this scheme is “better” than ANY other defensive scheme in a vacuum.

        I think teams run it primarily under one condition. They know they can’t field an elite defense traditionally with their personnel and they believe they have (or are close to having) a high powered offense. Rather than try to force that defensive personnel to run a scheme they know they’re not capable of executing, they decide to emphasize turnovers and rely on the offense to put pressure on the opponent to play over aggressive.

        I don’t think a team building from the drawing board would choose to build towards this defense. I think teams just find themselves in this situation and decide to roll with it rather than trying to rebuild the defense at the risk of losing their offensive advantage.

        •  Krow says:

          To paraphrase that old joke, “He said our defense wasn’t fit for pigs … but I stood up to him and argued that it was a very good fit for pigs.”

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    Fewell has his faults but I think especially last year the issue was much more the players. DTs play was poor, as was the LB play and webster forgot how to play football. We will have issues with some calls because Fewell tends to be more conservative than most of us would like. But we have enough to make his defense work this year if the CBs stay healthy. I think the speed at LB is the DL does it job will help a lot in the short to medium range passes that were completed so easily last year.

  6.  giankees says:

    Fewells defense would be better if we had a pass rush. Also would be better if we have beef up the middle to stop the run. Im hoping we have both this year. Hoping jenkins rogers hankins or patterson make a difference this yr
    Also would love to see kiwi and tuck and jpp get back to pressuring the qb. I have a good feeling about moore this yr i think he is
    A more natural joker than kiwi. He used to play it similarly at tex am

  7.  Krow says:

    A coach is supposed to put his players in the best position he can for them to succeed. We were 28th against the run and 31st against the pass last season. So if you feel Perry Fewell did a good job then this is about where you think we belong talent-wise.

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