As the sideline reporter for 101 ESPN, I stood behind the home team’s bench at the Rams-Eagles game last Sunday, evaluating every snap, looking to answer any and all questions asked of me by play-by-play man Steve Savard and color analyst D’Marco Farr. On a single play, as Sam Bradford worked to create production and some sort of spark for his team, he dropped back in the pocket with his eyes focused down field looking for an open receiver. Upon releasing the pass, on his follow through his hand was entangled with Eagles defensive lineman Juqua Parker.
When the Rams medical staff examined Bradford on the sideline, it was hard for me to tell if it was the thumb or the index finger that was being examined. Bradford squeezed his hand over and over as if he had a piece of wax in his hand working to mold it into a round ball, trying to find some sort of sensation or feeling. As Bradford was escorted off the field by a few doctors and Steve Miller, the Rams’ director of security, I could feel the thousands of fans following his every movement and steps as he moved closer to the tunnel.
When he returned to the playing field it was evident his mindset was much different, that there was something wrong. When Bradford warmed up on the sideline, several passes sailed on him. He struggled to command the accuracy needed to compete at a high level. It was obvious that he was done for the day.
I called several of my medical sources around the country both at the professional and collegiate level, and several if not all said the same thing. If there is no structural damage to the bones or joint it is highly likely there is some nerve damage.
A few of my sources said they use gloves to improve poor circulation in the hands. Your circulatory system is made up of the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins. The body is a temple. The system is responsible for transporting fresh oxygenated blood from the lungs to the individual cells via the arteries, and then, lugging the used, depleted or de-oxygenated blood back to the lungs though the veins.
There are gloves to improve nerve damage. A new glove device that delivers vibration feedback to the fingertips upon contact with surfaces has been designed to improve sensitivity. It could be used to assist individuals whose medical conditions reduce their sense of touch.
As it was explained to me, the fingertips of the glove contain a layer of piezoelectric material that generates an electrical charge when a mechanical force is applied to it. This powers an actuator made of a stack of lead zirconate titanate layers that generate high-frequency vibrations. The actuator is attached to the side of the fingertip so that the palm-side of the finger remains free and the individual wearing the glove can continue to manipulate objects and have full range of motion and ability to squeeze objects.
The glove was designed by Georgia Tech assistant professors Jun Ueda and Minoru Shinohara and visiting scholar Yuichi Kurita. It has been tested on a small group of healthy volunteers. The study found that the volunteers’ abilities to perform sensory and motor skill tasks were improved by using the glove.
The glove could result in a new device designed to improve the sense of touch of the user. This could help both people with peripheral nerve damage and those working in fields that require manipulation and texture discrimination skills.
“They have all sorts of contraptions now,” Bradford said. “They got this glove that I wear. Everyone says I look like Michael Jackson. I’m not really sure what it does. It does something, so I do that. Obviously ice, heat, and contrast trying to rub all the swelling out and stuff like that. Just your normal remedies.”
“He is kind of over the hump with some things,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “It looks like he’s going to be OK. I think it would be the understatement of the year to say it’s a relief. I think our whole football team, everybody feels that way. We all know how you feel about the quarterback on any team because it’s an important position and you know what Sam means to ours.”
“The hand feels 10 times better than it did on Sunday, even on Monday morning after the game, that’s encouraging,” Bradford said. “Hopefully, it continues to get better and hopefully it will be 100 percent by Monday.”
There is nothing that will keep the Big Easy out of any game, let alone Monday Night Football in New York City on the biggest stage for not only the other 30 NFL teams, but the nation and world as well.