Aug 3, 2021Q&A with Reggie Scott, Rams’ VP of Sports Medicine & Performance
Reggie Scott is a name that is frequently said aloud within the walls of the Los Angeles Rams facilities, particularly over the two years.
From injury recovery to strength and conditioning program implementation to COVID-19 issues, and much more, Scott — in his 12th year with the Rams, and 19th year working within the NFL, including stops at Carolina and Tampa Bay — is in high demand from both players and coaches alike.
To give the public a look into what it takes to keep a high-profile NFL team healthy and upright, the OC Register caught up with Scott, 42, as the Rams begin their training camp sessions.
Below is an excerpt from that conversation between Scott and the OC Register.
How has your job changed — from the days of a trainer with ankle tape — to what you do now?
It’s amazing. It has advanced so much. I always tell people we’re pretty much running a healthcare facility on-site, from the rehabilitation we do to all the medical stuff, now in taking on a pandemic. All the emerging sciences, even the performance world, strength, and conditioning. Everything from a head cold to a torn ACL, we’re managing. It’s a big, big undertaking.
The Rams’ medical issue of the moment is Cam Akers. What kind of recovery can be expected for a running back in his early 20s from an Achilles tear?
You expect a great recovery for a young guy like that. He’s got that going for him. We’ve got a great surgeon in Dr. Neal ElAttrache. And you’ve got a kid who’s super-committed and works his tail off. So that’s just a great combination for a guy to come back and be as strong if not better than before.
The Rams have a 39-year-old left tackle, Andrew Whitworth, a 34-year-old wide receiver, DeSean Jackson, a 33-year-old quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Aaron Donald, hard to believe, just turned 30. Can you do more than in years past to help players extend their careers? Are we going to see more Tom Bradys, playing well into their 40s?
Yes, I think modern medicine and innovation and what we’re learning about performance and joint preservation have improved. Life expectancy gets better. It’s very similar to football. I think we’ve got very proactive in how we take care of guys, and I think guys have gotten more educated about how to take care of themselves. There’s a lot of things that have to go your way, too, to play long in this game. That’s a really elite group of people you’re talking about, and it’s a credit to who they are.
How well is the NFL dealing with head injuries and improving protection?
I think the advancement has been awesome. You look at Biocore, the bio-engineering company that the league hired, and look at helmet-wear. When I first got in this business, a lot of helmets were not really qualified for the game. We know that helmets obviously do not eliminate concussions, but there’s been a reduction of it by producing better equipment, better fitting. With all of the money the NFL has put into research, you’re starting to feel the fruit of that. We’ve got a ways to go, but it’s been a great change and I’m really excited about that.
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We see coaches like the Rams’ Sean McVay routinely hold key players out of pre-season games, reflecting the inherent danger of playing football. If a parent looks at that and wonders, “Is football safe for my child?”, what can you tell them?
We have three preseason games, we have a 17-game season. Strategizing on reducing exposure is kind of our approach. From a health and safety perspective, I think our game has continued to show improvement. I would say it goes back to people educating themselves, researching things. It’s really promising to see how much we’re doing to keep our game healthy and safe for the longevity of everybody.
To read the full interview between Scott and the OC Register, click here.