- The Washington Times - Monday, January 1, 2018

ASHBURN — There is a debate centered around the amount of injuries the Redskins suffered this season: Are they just unlucky or is there something more?

Safety D.J. Swearinger falls into the category. Swearinger said players aren’t taking care of their bodies.

“Personally, I’ve been on previous teams where after practice, you have 30 guys in the cold tub or you’ve got 20 guys in the cold tub,” Swearinger said. “I didn’t feel that vibe from this team. Whether they do it here or elsewhere, I didn’t think guys took care of themselves.”

The Redskins had 23 players on injured reserve this season. Asked about the injuries during the season, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said they couldn’t put blame on the team’s strength and conditioning staff.

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, on the other hand, said he thinks the Redskins’ injury situation has been unlucky this year.

But Kerrigan, who has never missed a game in his seven-year career, said he always tries to add a new element to preserve his health. Last season, for example, he took a food allergy test to eliminate inflammation in his body. 

Kerrigan added he asked veteran Vernon Davis, who has played 13 seasons, on advice to stay healthy for a lengthy career. Davis, Kerrigan said, told him to treat his body in the offseason like he would during the regular season.

“You might lift and you run, but you might not do as much as the chiropractic work and cold tub stuff like that,” Kerrigan said. “I think that’s key for not only guys like myself … but guys that are young guys, so they develop those habits.” 

Swearinger, too, said he adjusted his routine to preserve his career, switching to a vegan and pescatarian diet. While he still eats fish, Swearinger said he only eats plant based foods otherwise.

“If you’re pros, you’ve got to take care of your body yourself,” Swearinger said. “You’re not supposed to wait until something happens to you to get treatment. You’re supposed to be preventive.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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