During his end-of-the-season press conference, Howie Roseman brought up one of the Eagles’ biggest issues unprompted.
It’s an issue everyone had already noticed.
“One of the things that obviously has been an issue for us has been the injury situation,” Roseman said. “When we look at the last three years, in 2017, we were able to overcome it. The last two years, the injuries have really hurt our football team.”
The Eagles admitted there’s a problem and it looks like they’re at least trying to fix it.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane the Eagles have let the contracts of two members of their sports science team expire. Director of High Performance Shaun Huls and Director of Rehabilitation Shireen Mansoori will both not be returning for the 2020 season.
So what does this mean?
Well, it’s hard to say. There’s probably more than one reason the Eagles have seemingly been snake bitten by injuries over the last two years. It’s clear they think replacing these two people will be a first step in getting over their injury problems.
Huls came aboard back in 2013 from Naval Special Warfare, where he worked with Navy SEAL teams. He was an important hire made by Chip Kelly and was kept when the Eagles fired Chip and hired Doug Pederson. Mansoori was brought in after the 2017 season.
Both are now gone.
It seems likely this was a recommendation from Eagles Chief Medical Officer Arsh Dhanota, who appears to have power within the franchise. Back in January, Roseman talked up the role Dhanota would have in any medical or sports science decision made by the team.
“This is someone that we are very, very excited to have,” Roseman said about Dhanota. “He came in in June and what he asked for us was that he would observe, observe through the season, observe our training staff, observe our weight staff, our sports science, our processes, and make recommendations to us that we would carry out. So we're excited about that.”
This is the latest medical staff shakeup, but it’s not the first within the last few years. In fact, this is the third straight offseason in which the Eagles have made significant changes to their medical staff.
After 2017: Fired longtime head trainer Chris Peduzzi and replaced him with Jerome Reid; parted ways with longtime head physician Peter DeLuca and head internist Gary Dorshimer; hired head physician Steven Stache and Christopher Dodson; hired Mansoori
After 2018: Parted ways with head physician Stache; hired Dhanota as Chief Medical Officer
After 2019: Parted ways Huls or Mansoori
It seems like the Eagles are not done making medical staff changes this offseason and the turnover in the years since the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory is pretty incredible.
During that 2017 season, it felt like the Eagles were decimated by injuries but things have gotten considerably worse since then. In both 2018 and 2019, the Eagles were derailed by injuries, some taking heavy aim at individual positions.
There is a part of that, that is natural during the game. Injuries are going to happen,” Roseman said last month. “But we have to figure out a way to get better here. We can help from a front office perspective by looking at the players that we bring in. Hope is not a strategy when it comes to injuries.
Sure, injuries happen and some of it is just bad luck. But the ones that probably gnaw at the Eagles are the injuries that linger and should probably get better faster. There have been far too many players with meandering paths to recoveries. For every win, like Brandon Brooks, there have been too many questionable recoveries, like Jalen Mills, Mack Hollins and Darren Sproles.
Because of how evasive the Eagles are when it comes to injury information, it’s hard to know the source of all their problems. And it seems like the Eagles might not really know either.
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