Thursday, April 24, 2014
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POSTED: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 4:00 AM
Filed Under: Football | Peter F. DeLuca
Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel. (Michael Conroy/AP)

We’re just hours away from the start of NFL free agency. At 4 p.m. today, players without contracts for the 2014 season are free to sign with any team of their choosing. Over the years, free agency has been a mixed bag for the Eagles, yielding franchise players (Ricky Watters, Asante Samuel) and disappointments (Nnamdi Asomugha, Stacy Andrews).

But what goes into deciding which players receive contract offers? Scouting, past performance etc. play a huge role, no doubt, but in today’s NFL general managers want the best chance for return on their investment throughout the life of the contract. To gather that information, Howie Roseman turns to Peter DeLuca, M.D. and the rest of the Eagles’ medical staff.

Dr. DeLuca is an orthopedic surgeon at Rothman Institute and head team physician for the Eagles. He’s been the head team physician for a decade now, and has seen free agents come and go—some with contract offers, and some without. What role does injury history play in that decision?

POSTED: Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 5:30 AM
Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter (right) speaks while College Athletes Players Association president Ramogi Huma left and United Steel Workers National Political Director Tim Waters second from left look on during a news conference in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Calling the NCAA a "dictatorship," a handful of Northwestern football players announced they are forming the first labor union for college athletes--one they hope will eventually represent players nationwide. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Intercollegiate athletics are well integrated into the college and university experience. Student-athletes are provided an opportunity to perform, socialize, develop self-confidence, improve self-esteem and have a healthy, active lifestyle. In addition, they often get experiences and mentorship that can help shape them into young adults that will be productive members of society. The rest of the campus community also benefits as they get to watch competitive sports, develop a sense of loyalty and pride towards their institution, and be part of the campus excitement associated with a particular team.

The most powerful benefit of intercollegiate athletics, however; is probably the financial impact that it has on the institution. Money generated by sports activities helps to fund construction of new buildings, such as dormitories and libraries. Also, it provides funding for research opportunities, professor salaries, and recruitment initiatives to attract more students to the school.

This is particularly evident at large Division I schools with successful football and basketball programs. For example, an poll from 2008 showed that the top four athletic programs in total revenue made well over $100 million dollars each that year. The majority of this money is generated from ticket sales, media rights, branding, and donations. While the bulk of the money is used to fund coach pay, team travel, marketing, and student tuition, none of the money is designated specifically for athlete compensation. As a result of this, the decision as to whether or not to pay college athletes has become a hot topic for discussion both in the sports and lay press.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 9:42 AM
Dr. Paul Butler voted to ban football in his New Hampshire school district, while Dr. Doug Swift won two Super Bowls before turning his attention to medicine. (Robert Senior /

On Tuesday night, three accomplished doctors from three very different backgrounds convened at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia to discuss the issue of head injuries in football.

The talk, entitled “Football: America’s Pride or America’s Shame?” featured Doug Swift, MD, who won two Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins of the 1970s before turning his attention to medicine as an anesthesiologist; H. Branch Coslett, MD, professor in neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; and Paul Butler, MD, a retired surgeon who gained fame—or notoriety, depending on your stance—by voting to end football in his local school district, where he served as a board member.

The title of the talk “America’s Pride or America’s Shame?” didn’t seem to leave much room for a middle ground, but in the end the highlight of the presentation was its non-judgmental approach to accepting that there is a large gray area in the entire discussion. Football players, coaches, doctors, even opponents of the sport were able to walk away saying they’d learned something, and hopefully with a greater understanding of the other side of the debate.

POSTED: Friday, February 21, 2014, 5:30 AM

No matter how you are involved in athletics, you need to know the dangers that accompany your sport. This Strained Sports infographic will help you digest the mountain of statistics and help you better understand how the injuries stack up against each other from sport to sport.


With the hope of informing, this graphic has the purpose of raising awareness of sports injuries, whether they are minor ankle problems or fatal brain injuries. Because the potential dangers aren’t always at the forefront of discussions, learning about the more serious side of sports will allow you to make an educated decision about participating. Additionally, this infographic can serve as a guide to understand what sort of injuries to watch for by sport.

POSTED: Friday, January 31, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Football | In The News | Joel H. Fish
Workers shovel snow off the seats at MetLife Stadium as crews removed snow ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII following a snow storm, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. Super Bowl XLVIII, which will be played between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2, will be the first NFL title game held outdoors in a city where it snows. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

At first glance, Denver vs. Seattle looks like a matchup that offers little in the way of a Philly fan’s rooting interest. But the presences of Seattle’s Richard Sherman and Denver’s Peyton Manning will see to it that most fans will take a side in time for Sunday’s kickoff.

Sherman, Seattle’s Pro Bowl cornerback, became a household name in the wake of his live interview on FOX after the Seahawks’ NFC championship victory over San Francisco.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 5:30 AM

From serious matters like concussions and performance enhancing drugs, to inspiring stories of athletes overcoming the odds, we’ve enjoyed covering the sports and fitness scene in and around Philadelphia in 2013.

What do you hope to see on Sports Doc in 2014?

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

POSTED: Monday, December 23, 2013, 9:53 AM

This article is a continuation of my post on December 3, Hamstring Injuries: Frequency, re-injury, and length of recovery.

Return to play following a hamstring or lower extremity strain may be one of the more difficult decisions a medical staff makes. Often the athlete is progressed through the rehabilitation process to tolerance. Every few days he/she is able to sustain increased workload to the point that they are running “sprints” at approximately 90 percent; they have resumed some practice; have begun cutting or functional drills; and have “full strength” when their hamstring muscle is tested by the physician or athletic trainer (while they are lying on a table).

The player often feels good and being an elite competitive athlete wants to return to play ASAP to help his team. Testing at this point is functional as lying on a table is much different than playing a dynamic sport like football. The tests often consists of:

POSTED: Friday, December 20, 2013, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Football | In The News | Joel H. Fish
Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Much has been written about the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin situation that existed on the Miami Dolphins this season. At present, Incognito has been suspended from the Dolphins for behavior that has been described as bullying. Martin has taken an extended absence from the team for emotional reasons. 

It is unclear what exactly happened between these two professional football players in the Dolphins locker room and off the field during the past 2 years. The incidents have shed light, though, on locker room behavior that exists on many professional football teams. In fact, the “team culture” that seems to be common in professional football has also been found to be similar in other professional sports. 

The issue of locker room behavior is also one that is also relevant to youth sports, high school sports, and college sports. Team culture is often defined as what is expected and typical behavior among a group of athletes that are part of the same team. It is clear that team culture can often reinforce positive teambuilding behavior. It is evident, though, that just wearing the same team uniform does not guarantee that each player on the team will be treated with dignity and respect. 

About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Robert Senior Sports Doc blog Editor
Alfred Atanda, Jr., M.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Robert Cabry, M.D. Drexel Sports Medicine, Team physician - U.S. Figure Skating, Assoc. Team Physician - Drexel
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Symetrix Sports Performance, athletic trainer at OAA Orthopaedics
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician for the Phillies & St. Joe's
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician - Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon - Flyers
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director - The Center For Sport Psychology, Sports Psychology Consultant - 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Rothman Institute, Team Physician - USA Wrestling, Consultant - Philadelphia Phillies
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Cassie Haynes, JD, MPH Co-Founder, Trap Door Athletics, CrossFit LI Certified
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician - Drexel, Philadelphia University, Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Jim McCrossin, ATC Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
David Rubenstein, M.D. Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center, Team Orthopedist - Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute, Athletic Trainer - US Soccer Federation
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