NFL teams hoping GPS devices will help prevent player injuries

The Buffalo Bills have started using GPS tracking devices to monitor the intensity of players' workouts.

While most people probably tend to think of GPS devices in the context of fleet management or personal navigation, there are many examples that show the broad range of possible uses of tracking technology. For more than a year, the Buffalo Bills have been conducting research to determine the most effective way to monitor players' performance and prevent injuries.

Now, it seems as if the team's managers have reached a conclusion. Chris Brown, lead journalist for the Bills' news service, recently spoke to several officials, including Eric Ciano, the strength and conditioning coordinator, about how they have integrated GPS software into practices.

"The number one goal is to try to help prevent injury," Ciano said, adding that the ability to track players' movements in real time allows coaches to be proactive about shaping workouts to avoid wearing out individuals.

"We could say, 'Hey C.J. has reached the point where he has exceeded the yardage that we had set for that day. The speeds are dropping,'" said Ciano. "That could put him at greater risk for a soft tissue injury."

Furthermore, in cases where players have suffered injuries, the historical data from the tracking devices can aid in their rehabilitation by providing baseline figures to compare against their current performance.

Player tracking offers parallels with fleet management

In much the same way that the Bills are using GPS software to keep players healthy by monitoring their activities and avoiding overly strenuous workouts, organizations that track fleet vehicles can use the data ensure that their drivers are adhering to key safety standards at all times.

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