Survey: Four of five NFL players don't trust team medical staffs

Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:59 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- National Football League players believe the team doctor works more in the interest of owners than the players, a players union survey indicates.

The survey, released Thursday in New Orleans, asked players on all 32 NFL teams to rate on a five-point scale -- with five meaning not satisfied at all -- their opinion of their teams' overall management of injuries. Ninety-three percent of the respondents gave the question a rating of either four of five, The Washington Post reported.

Just 3 percent of the players gave a one or two response to the question. Players rated team trainers much higher with only 7 percent rating training staffs a four or five. Half of the players gave team trainers a one or two.

The role of team doctors and medical staffs in the NFL came under closer scrutiny this post-season after Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was allowed to continue playing in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks after aggravating a knee injury. He had extensive surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right knee.

"The most troubling aspect of the survey for me is that lack of belief that the doctors are treating them for their players own health, safety and wellness reasons," National Football League Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told the Post.

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