The NFL Musculoskeletal Committee is composed of independent and NFL-affiliated medical professionals and focuses on musculoskeletal issues relevant to the health and safety of active NFL players.
- Advise the NFL on medical policies, procedures and protocols
- Determine and advise the NFL on best practices
- Identify and recommend medical research that impacts the health and safety of active
- Oversee research when requested by the NFL
- Create and supervise focused research groups with specific goals and assignments
Areas of Focus
Musculoskeletal trauma including fractures, muscle strains and ligament sprains
Foot and Ankle
High ankle sprains, ankle fractures
Midfoot, tarsometatarsal injuries
Lower Extremity Trauma
Hip, thigh, knee and leg injuries
Upper Extremity Trauma
Shoulder girdle, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand
Trunk, chest and pelvis
- Robert Anderson, MD (Co-Chairman)Dr. Anderson serves as an assistant team physician to the Green Bay Packers and is a partner at Bellin Health Titletown Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. He is fellowship trained in foot and ankle disorders (Dr John Gould, Milwaukee WI ’88) with a large experience in sport related injuries. He is co-chair of the NFL’s Musculoskeletal Committee, overseeing all orthopaedic injuries and research in professional football. He previously served as the Chairman of the Foot and Ankle Subcommittee for the NFL. Dr. Anderson is an active consultant to a number of NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB teams and colleges, as well as the foot and ankle consultant to MLB Umpires Division. Prior to his work with the Packers, he served as a team orthopedist to the Carolina Panthers from 2000-2017 and was the founding orthopaedic surgeon of the O.L. Miller Foot and Ankle Institute of OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he practiced starting in 1989. He also served as faculty to the Fellowship Program at OrthoCarolina, was former Chief of the Foot and Ankle Service at the Carolinas Medical Center (1989-2015), and past Vice-chief of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at that institution. He is a past-president of the Medical Staff of Carolinas Medical Center and it’s >1700 physician members. Dr. Anderson is also a past-president of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and is a member of the FAI Managerial Board. Former Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Techniques in Foot and Ankle Surgery; associate editor/reviewer for JBJS, JAAOS, FAI, AJSM and numerous other peer-review publications and author/editor of numerous chapters and manuscripts. Dr. Anderson was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended the University of Mississippi where he was inducted into their Hall of Fame. He completed his medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin (formerly Marquette School of Medicine). He is married to Jean, and has three sons. His hobbies include lawn care, golf and return visits to the beautiful lakes of his home state.
- Ed Wojtys, MD (Co-Chairman)Dr. Edward Wojtys is a William S. Smith Collegiate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and a Team Physician at the University of Michigan. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief, Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach and as Co-Chair of the National Football League’s Orthopaedic Research Committee. Dr. Wojtys is a former U of M Football player who completed his medical training and Orthopaedic Residency at the University of Michigan and Fellowship at Cincinnati Sports Medicine under the direction of Dr. Frank Noyes in Knee Surgery and Sports Medicine. He joined the U of M Faculty in 1985. His research team’s work has been recognized by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) with 8 National Awards. Their work received the 2016 Kappa Delta Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) - the highest Research Award given by these Societies. His research has been funded by the NIH and NIAMS (2006, 2009, 2016), NFL, Coulter Foundation, Orthopaedic Research and Educational Foundation (OREF), and the Center for Organogenesis.
- Asheesh Bedi, MDDr. Asheesh Bedi is the Gehring Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Michigan. He is the Chief of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery and the Head Orthopaedic Team Physician for the University of Michigan Athletic Department. He is a team physician for the Detroit Lions and the lead orthopaedic consultant for the NBPA. Dr. Bedi specializes in both arthroscopic and open surgery for athletic injuries of the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. Dr. Bedi graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School and remained in Ann Arbor to pursue residency training in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Michigan. After residency, Dr. Bedi completed a two-year fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. He also pursued additional dedicated training in arthroscopic hip surgery for young athletes. Dr. Bedi was recognized in both 2008 and 2009 for orthopaedic research and tendon-bone healing studies. He is a two-time recipient of the Neer Award of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) and Cabaud Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). He was nominated by his peers in both 2015 and 2016 as a local and regional “Top Doc” as well as by Castle Connolly in 2016. He has authored over three hundred articles, chapters, and peer-reviewed publications on shoulder, elbow, knee, and hip injuries in athletes and is a member of the prestigious Herodicus Society.
- Robert Brophy, MDDr. Robert Brophy is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine. He graduated from Stanford University with bachelors’ degrees in electrical engineering and economics and a master’s degree in industrial engineering while playing on the men’s varsity soccer team. After earning his MD from the Washington University School of Medicine, he completed his orthopedic surgery residency and sports medicine fellowship training at The Hospital for Special Surgery. Since returning to Washington University to join the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, his clinical and academic focus is on sports medicine injuries of the knee and shoulder. He served as a team physician for the St. Louis Rams until their relocation to Los Angeles. He has authored or co-authored over 170 peer reviewed articles, with peer-reviewed grants from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation and a number of research related distinctions, including the AOSSM NCAA Research Award and Cabaud Memorial Award, the Lee T. Ford Award from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the Washington University School of Medicine, and the Arthur C. Rettig Award from the NFL Physicians Society. He has been an International Cartilage Repair Society Traveling Fellow, an American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons-American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) North American Traveling Fellow, an AOSSM-European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery & Arthroscopy Traveling Fellow and an AOA ABC Traveling Fellow and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
- James Collins, ATCJames Collins is Head Athletic Trainer for the Los Angeles Chargers and President of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS). Collins and his staff were selected as the NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year by PFATS in 2009. Born in Lothian, Md., Collins was an aviation physiology technician in the U.S. Navy from 1980-84. He played basketball at Morris Brown College and earned a degree in physical education from San Diego State. Collins was a Chargers intern in 1986 and promoted to assistant athletic trainer in 1987. He also worked as an orthopedic tech and surgical assistant for the OASIS Medical Group. In 1991, Collins was hired as an assistant in Denver and spent five seasons with the Broncos. He later spent a season with the World League’s London Monarchs (’95) and the ’96-98 seasons in Philadelphia before re-joining the Chargers in ’99. Collins is a member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association and serves on the NFL’s Health and Safety, General Medical and Musculoskeletal Committees. In 2005, he was named to the NATA Hall of Fame selection committee. He was formerly the AFC’s representative for the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. In 2004, Collins was honored as a “Distinguished Alumnus” by San Diego State’s Exercise and Nutritional Sciences Department. In 2012, Collins helped coordinate the opening of the San Diego Chargers Courage House at Casa de Amparo, a safe-house for abused kids. In 2013, he was selected to the executive board at Casa de Amparo as a liaison to the Chargers.
- Mike Coughlin, MDDr. Michael J. Coughlin graduated from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1974 and did his orthopaedic training at the University of California-San Francisco and a foot and ankle fellowship in 1978. Following this, he returned to orthopaedic foot and ankle practice in Boise, Idaho. He was the youngest President of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, serving from 1990 – 1991. He was also president of the International Federation of Foot and Ankle Society’s from 2002-2005. He is the co-editor of Surgery of the Foot and Ankle 9th Edition and edited three prior editions. It is considered “the bible” of foot and ankle surgery in the US. He has published over 200 scientific articles and over 500 scientific presentations on issues relating to the foot and ankle. He is a Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at University of California San Francisco; he is the Director of the Idaho Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Fellowship and practices orthopedic foot and ankle surgery in Boise, Idaho at the St Alphonsus Coughlin Foot and Ankle Clinic. He has been a consultant for the NFL for 9 years, and Co-chair of the Foot and Ankle subcommittee for Health and Safety for 7 years. He consults for the Green Bay Packers, and examines for them at the NFL combine yearly. He also consults for the Oregon Ducks and Boise State Broncos.
- Rob Heyer, MDDr. Robert A. Heyer is President of the NFL Physicians Society (NFLPS). Since 1994, Dr. Heyer has served as a team internist for the Carolina Panthers. He has over 35 years of experience and practices in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease. He graduated from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas in 1973. Dr. Heyer is a clinical professor for the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He joined the faculty at Carolinas Medical Center in 2002 and is a member of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division. Between 1991-96, Dr. Heyer was the Medical Director of Respiratory Therapy at the Carolinas Medical Center. He was also Chief of the Pulmonary Section at the medical center between 1991-93. His awards include the Charlotte Country Day School, Honorary Alumnus Award 1998 and the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the American Lung Association of North Carolina. Dr. Heyer is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He is also a member of the NFL Cardiovascular Health Research Committee. Other Professional services include former President of the North Carolina Thoracic Society between 1989-90, member of the American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians and American Association of Medical Directors of Respiratory Care.
- Thomas Hunt, III, MD, D.Sc.Dr. Thomas R. Hunt, III is board certified orthopedic surgeon with a subspecialty certificate in surgery of the hand. He serves as Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Professor of Orthopedics, Surgery, and Space Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Hunt is an internationally recognized leader in the care of athletes with hand and wrist injuries. Dr. Hunt is focused on research and innovation as the critical means of improving patient care outcomes. He has participated in numerous scientific investigations and has designed commonly utilized orthopedic implants for upper extremity trauma. Dr. Hunt has served as senior scientist and internal advisor for many university-designated research entities and he is on the program advisory board for the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Disease Program of Texas. He guides the Texas Medical Center’s National Center for Human Performance, a center dedicated to the functional assessment of late stage healthcare-related scientific advances and innovations created to enhance human performance and maximize human potential. Additionally, Dr. Hunt is working to define the genetic basis underlying tendon and ligament injuries in susceptible athletes through transcriptome and functional analysis of normal and abnormal human specimens in order to prevent injury, simplify treatment, and speed recovery. Dr. Hunt has directed upper extremity fellowships at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He currently oversees all orthopedic surgery education endeavors at Baylor. Dr. Hunt has served as visiting professor at prestigious medical schools throughout this country, as well as course organizer, faculty, and invited speaker for national and international symposia. He has educated through podium presentations, skills instruction, and scientific publications. He serves on the AO North America Hand Education Committee and recently edited a highly regarded textbook entitled, “Operative Techniques in Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Surgery.”
- William Levine, MDDr. William Levine is the Frank E. Stinchfield Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Orthopedic Surgeon-in-Chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Levine is the Chief of the Shoulder Service, Co-Director of the Center for Shoulder, Elbow and Sports Medicine, and Fellowship Director for the Columbia Shoulder/sports medicine fellowship. He has served as Head Team Physician for Columbia University’s 31 Men’s and Women’s Varsity teams for 18 years. Dr. Levine has been named one of New York’s Best Doctors by New York magazine for the last fourteen years. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA), and the Herodicus Society. Dr. Levine has authored or co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles, 50 book chapters, and has edited 11 textbooks and monographs. He has served on the Board of Directors of the AOSSM, the Executive Committee for the AOA, and is a past Director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. A native of North Dakota, Dr. Levine received a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University and his Doctor of Medicine from Case Western Reserve University. He was a resident in orthopaedic surgery at Tufts Medical Center, and held fellowships at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in Shoulder and Elbow surgery and the University of Maryland in Sports Medicine. He lives in New York with his wife and their two daughters.
- Joe SkibaJoseph Skiba has been a member of the New York Football Giants organization since 1994. He served first as an assistant locker room manager before becoming an assistant equipment manager in 1999. He was named to his current position in 2007. Skiba’s role and duties include maintaining the equipment room, its ordering and organizing its staff on a daily basis. His responsibilities include outfitting and maintaining players with the most safe and advanced playing equipment. Skiba also handles the practice field setup and assists the coaches with the daily practice procedures. He serves on the NFL Foot and Ankle Committee and NFL Health and Safety where he assists Dr. Jeff Crandall and Dr. Richard Kent from Biocore. During various times of the year, he presents equipment fitting and safety to youth and mother’s clinics held at the organization. Skiba was voted by his peers as the winner of the NFL Equipment Manager of the Year in 2011 and is a member of the Athletic Equipment Managers Association. Skiba graduated in 2002 from William Paterson University, where he majored in English Literature. He graduated from Bergen Catholic High School in 1994, where he was a member of the football team during the school’s run of three consecutive state titles. Skiba and his daughter, Kyleigh Elizabeth and son, Alexander Joseph live in Washington Township, N.J.
- Kurt Spindler, MDDr. Kurt Spindler is the Vice Chairman of Research in the Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute, the Director of Orthopaedic Clinical Outcomes, and the Academic Director of Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. Dr. Spindler joined Cleveland Clinic after 23 years as Head Team Physician, Director of Sports Medicine, and Vice Chairman of Orthopaedics at Vanderbilt University. He focuses on knee ligament reconstruction, arthroscopic surgery of the knee and evaluation and treatment of sports musculoskeletal injuries. Dr. Spindler earned his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and remained at Penn to serve a General Surgery Internship, a year of Orthopaedic research and an Orthopaedic Surgery residency. He then completed a Sports Medicine/Orthopaedics fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation before going to Vanderbilt in 1991 as assistant professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. At Vanderbilt, he implemented the Multi-center Orthopaedic Outcomes Network (MOON), an evidence-based medicine effort he thought up during his fellowship. He also serves as grant reviewer for the NIH and chairman of the Grant Review Committee of the National Football League.
- Elizabeth Nabel, MD (Ex-Officio)Dr. Betsy Nabel is president of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Health Care (BWHC). A cardiologist by training, Dr. Nabel is also a distinguished research scientist, leader in academic medicine, and a long-time advocate for wellness and health equity. Dr. Nabel is passionate about advancing innovation and research, having committed BWHC to multiple core initiatives from care redesign to personalized therapies and precision medicine, advancing BWHC’s reputation as a global leader in health care. In 2015, building on her lifelong commitment to improving health through science, Dr. Nabel became chief health and medical advisor to the National Football League. In this advisory role, Dr. Nabel provides strategic input to the NFL’s medical, health and scientific efforts; participates as an ex-officio member on the NFL’s medical advisory committees; and identifies areas for the NFL to enhance player safety, care and treatment. Before coming to BWHC, Dr. Nabel served as director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute from 2005-2009, where she leveraged a $3 billion research portfolio to establish pioneering scientific programs in genomics, stem cells, and translational research. One of her signature advocacy efforts was the Red Dress Heart Truth campaign, which raises heart awareness in women through unprecedented industry partnerships. An accomplished physician-scientist, Dr. Nabel’s work on the molecular genetics of cardiovascular diseases has produced 17 patents and more than 250 scientific publications. Nabel has been named one of the nation’s top leaders in medicine by Modern Healthcare and Becker’s Hospital Review, and has been the recipient of dozens of notable awards and positions in prestigious national organizations. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Nabel attended Weill Cornell Medical College and completed her internal medicine and cardiology training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She and her husband Gary, who is the chief scientific officer for Sanofi, have three children, all of whom are pursuing careers in medicine.
- Thom Mayer, MD, FACEP, FAAP (NFL Players Association)Dr. Thom Mayer is the Medical Director of the NFL Players Association, a position he assumed at the request of Gene Upshaw on the day Korey Stringer, a tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, passed away from heat stroke. The NFLPA had never before had a Medical Director. Under the leadership of current NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, Dr. Mayer and his team pioneered a new era in assuring that the health and safety of NFL athletes are protected. Heat illness, traumatic brain injuries, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal injuries, and strength training are all now subject to strict guidelines. In this critical role for the NFLPA, he has become one of the most trusted and widely-respected physicians in sports medicine. He is also recognized as an expert in emergency medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, trauma and healthcare leadership. With regard to sports medicine, leadership development, service excellence and patient flow, he is the most respected and widely known emergency physician in the nation. Dr. Mayer has published over 90 articles, 100 book chapters, and has edited 15 textbooks. He has spoken at over 200 national and international conferences on sports medicine and emergency medicine. On September 11, 2001 Dr. Mayer served as one of the Command Physicians at the Pentagon Rescue Operation, coordinating medical assets at the site. The BestPractices physicians at Inova Fairfax Hospital were the first to successfully diagnose and treat inhalational anthrax victims during the fall 2001 anthrax crises, and Dr. Mayer has served the Department of Defense on Defense Science Board Task Forces on Bioterrorism, Homeland Security, and consequences of Weapons of Mass Destruction. His expertise and insights in crisis management are thus informed by hard-won experience. Dr. Mayer’s academic appointments are as Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington and Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke University School of Medicine.