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Sam Bradford's Health Plan

Posted Apr 3, 2018

Cardinals try to map out best way to help keep quarterback on the field

Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford works out Tuesday as Phase One workouts commenced.

Sam Bradford took part in the first section of the afternoon Phase One workouts for the Cardinals Tuesday, but when the group headed outside, the team’s new starting quarterback remained inside.

Bradford was meeting with Tom Reed, the team’s head athletic trainer, Brett Fischer, the team’s physical therapist, and Dr. Gary Waslewski, the team’s orthopedist. There would be many more days to get in some conditioning. But first, there needed to be a plan.

“We’ll identify what Sam needs to do, and put him on a program that’s based on him, the individual,” strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris said. “We like to individualize a lot around here.”

Bradford’s injury history has been well-documented, as well as the time missed on the field because of those injuries. There was an ankle problem in 2010, a torn ACL in 2013, a re-tear of the ACL in 2014, a shoulder injury in 2015 and then a knee bruise that later needed surgery in 2017.

Bradford said his knee felt good, coming off a season that had been possibly the most frustrating of his career. He starred in a three-touchdown game to open 2017, but the knee problem ended up basically costing him the rest of the season. He briefly returned, starting in Week 5 but unable to finish the game. He did return in the postseason as the Vikings’ backup to Case Keenum.

“As a player, you can’t focus on it,” Bradford said. “I trust the process I’ve been through to this point, I know the strength staff here, the training staff here, we talked … about putting in the plan to make sure my knee is as healthy as it can be come Week One.

“I am trusting the fact they know what they are doing. They’ve dealt with some guys who have had knees that have had issues like mine. With that work, we’ll be in a place where it will allow me to do can do what I need to do for 16 games.”

Since missing the entire 2014 season with the torn ACL, Bradford played in 14 games in 2015, 15 games in 2016, and two games last season.

Morris said he has talked with “everybody that’s ever trained” Bradford, as well as Bradford’s current physical therapist.

“I think we’ve got a great plan between myself, Tom Reed and obviously Sam, just like we did for Carson (Palmer) a couple years ago,” Morris added. “I get tired of people telling me what I can’t do. I worry about what I can do. So we’re going to focus on what we can do with Sam, and we’re going to put him in a position to achieve optimal levels and put him in the best possible position to help us win football games.

“Trust me, we’ve talked about him.”

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