Former Giants defensive back Walter Thurmond, who currently plays for the Eagles, spoke critically of the Giants approach to modern medical practices compared to other organizations he has played for.
“He doesn’t believe in the sport-science aspect like Coach Carroll or Coach Kelly and the new found technology for the players,” Thurmond said. “His style takes a hit, because he doesn’t believe in this aspect. He believes in winning, but he doesn’t believe in the modern medicine to progress the players to that next level.”
However, according to Giants team spokesman Pat Hanlon, the organization has begun practicing new medical techniques in recent years.
“You would have to ask Walter what he is referring to specifically when it comes to comparing and contrasting,” Hanlon said. “But the fact is, over the past 2-3 years, we have adopted and implemented a few programs: the GPS system we employ to monitor workload, diet in terms of offerings and preparation in the dining hall, and sleep studies. Those are a few of the things we have done as we continue to evolve.”
Head Coach Tom Coughlin is notorious for remarking injuries are "a mental thing" when he began with the Giants. It appears Coughlin, or at least the organization, has come around to the modern times of sports science.
The Giants' injury situation seems to be getting worse every season. The website Football Outsiders produce a statistic called "Adjusted Games Lost", which gauges "how much teams were affected by injuries based on two principles: (1) Injuries to starters, injury replacements, and important situational reserves matter more than injuries to benchwarmers; and (2) Injured players who do take the field are usually playing with reduced ability, which is why AGL is not based strictly on whether or not the player is active for the game, but instead is based on the player's listed status that week (IR/PUP, out, doubtful, questionable, or probable)."
According to the table, the Giants had the most Adjusted Games Lost in the NFL in 2013 and then repeated the infamous feat again last season. They were also hindered in 2012 and 2011, recording the 7th-highest AGL in the league in both seasons.
Should the Giants revisit their systems and procedures regarding the health of players or are the rash of injuries just a run of bad luck and coincidence? If scores of players go down again this season, we'll know that answer.