NFL Nation: Rick Burkholder

Monday’s angst over a potential long-term injury for Kansas City Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles turned into Tuesday’s relief.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Charles is “fine” and expressed no concerns about a foot sprain he suffered Monday. X-rays were negative and Charles had no further complications Tuesday.

Kansas City athletic trainer Rick Burkholder told reporters Tuesday that Charles has a mild foot strain and he is day-to-day. Burkholder said there is no concern that Charles has a serious injury.

He didn’t practice Tuesday, but he did some light bike work. If Charles doesn’t play Friday against San Francisco as a precaution, he should surely be back next week.

Might not see Michael Vick for a while

November, 16, 2012
Philadelphia Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder offered an update today on the condition of quarterback Michael Vick, who will miss this week's game due to a concussion, and it was not very encouraging.

Burkholder, whose work in this particular area helped form the basis for the NFL's concussion-recovery protocol, used the terms "foggy," "not very alert," and "heavy-eyed" to describe Vick and said he's "not even close" to returning. Rookie Nick Foles will start at quarterback in Vick's place Sunday against the Washington Redskins, and it sounds as though the Eagles will need Foles to start more than just this one game. Per the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Vick underwent impact testing on Friday, but was below the baseline, Burkholder said. He will be tested again on Monday. Burkholder said that he would normally give a concussed player a three or four-phased exercise challenge, but that Vick wasn't ready.

"He has too many symptoms for us to even exercise him," Burkholder said.

Even after he passes the testing and exercise challenge, Vick must see an independent neurologist and then the team doctor before he's cleared to return to practice.

"We're early on in the process," Burkholder said. "We're still in what I would consider Phase I. ... Right now it's not in Michael's best interest, in the league's best interest, in our best interest, it's not even close to him playing this week."

Obviously, this sounds like a very serious situation, and the issue of whether Vick or Foles gives the Eagles the best chance to win football games takes a back seat until such time as Vick is healthy enough for the Eagles to consider putting him back on the field. With concussions, there's no guarantee that such a time is imminent, and obviously you have to consider Vick out indefinitely at this point. Those who have suggested that Foles play the rest of the Eagles' games and Vick sit out the remainder of the season may find that the Eagles have no other choice.

Signs look good for Michael Vick

September, 21, 2011

The Philadelphia Eagles are saying that quarterback Michael Vick is doing well in his concussion testing, and indications from coach Andy Reid and trainer Rick Burkholder on Wednesday were that Vick has a chance to play Sunday against the Giants. Vick still has to see an independent neurologist, as the league requires, before he can be cleared to play, but Reid said that if Vick were cleared to play, he would play. From the Philadelphia Daily News:
Burkholder said Vick is "right in the middle of this process" and that he is progressing at the expected rate. Burkholder said he is not focused on whether Vick will play Sunday against the Giants, but instead just going through the concussion protocol process. An MRI on Monday was negative.

Vick took snaps in the team's walk-through Wednesday morning, and the Eagles said he would do some exercises during the afternoon practice to see how he handled it. He's not likely to have a full practice until Friday, if only because it could take a couple of days for the independent doctor to clear him. Burkholder and the Eagles also will be administering further tests in the coming days.

If Vick can't play, Reid said, he's undecided about whether Vince Young or Mike Kafka would start in his place. Young has been out since the preseason with a hamstring injury, and Kafka replaced Vick when he came out of Sunday night's game.


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