The injury wheel has been eating up and spitting out Giants players at record rates the past few days and years and the organization has tried every method available this summer to slow it down.
Enter the "recovery cycle", the newest concept employed by the Giants to protect players from injury and keep their bodies in peak condition. So, what is it? Head coach Tom Coughlin explained Thursday....
A little different week for us. This is what I call the GPS week. We’re following that to a ‘T.’
We’ve had two hard practices, followed by basically meetings, walkthroughs and a recovery cycle. So all three --- special teams, defense and offense -- had good, long meetings, they had walkthroughs and we finished that up with a recovery cycle.
The recovery cycle has basically six elements and, by seniority, they can choose two. It is two 15-minute periods and we are currently right toward the end of the second cycle, so it is a unique kind of a day and I am interested in the feedback that I get from our leadership council and also from the assistant coaches as we go through the day and, of course, the proof will come later as to how we perform.
So, what are those elements? What kind of things are they?
"Yoga, massage," said Coughlin. "There are some fancy names for things we do with rollers and sticks and so on and so forth --- cold tub, but it is basically just the recovery cycle muscular so on and so forth along with yoga and some of the other things we employed."
The new approach is not guaranteed to limit or prevent injuries other than the fact the team isn't on the field engaged in rigorous football activity. Coughlin was asked if he may implement the cycle during the season.
"We are going to see," he said. "I will see what it looks like and again tomorrow is another day of this experimentation, so we are going to go through with that and we’ll see how we like it at the end of the week."
Thursday was the final day of camp. The Giants will have to cut their roster to 75 players Sept. 1 and then to 53 on four days later. Coughlin was asked if the training regimen ended along with camp.
"We just keep going. Nothing ended, everything keeps right on going," he said. "It is much different, as you know and as you have recognized in other years, and I think at this point in time the players who are able to have a home in this area, they have checked out of the hotel, the other guys will stay in the hotel and we just keep going."
Coughlin said he found the data collected has been helpful and made it clear that a "GPS" day, if implemented, would take the place of a practice day.
"What you would do is you would load up according to the GPS system the first two days of the week. In other words, you cover a lot of territory. I don’t know if you noticed, but yesterday’s practice was quite long and could’ve actually been another five minutes. So you’re getting a lot of things done on an overload kind of a day and then you’re having an unloaded cycle and then the week’s not over yet."
It's a new day for the Giants and the NFL, in general. Let's see if more information and new health reigmens are good things when it comes to injuries.