Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray made headlines Sunday after the star running back was kept out of team drills for the first day of training camp. On Tuesday, Kelly expounded on why Murray missed the first day of practice, saying the running back's hydration levels were 'a little high.'
"He’s probably the most conditioned athlete on our team," Kelly said, "but if you don’t drink the requisite amount of water and electrolytes and have them in your system it doesn’t matter how fit you are.
"We monitor guys in a lot of different ways. There’s a reason we do it ... We’re trying to prevent injuries. Instead of saying afterwards, ‘Joe Jones just pulled his hamstring,’ Well, what was his hydration level? Why didn’t we know that before he went out on the field? That’s why we do what we do. It’s just a checks and balances thing. Once it happens, you can’t really get it back."
Holding Murray out of practice initially raised some eyebrows, but the move certainly falls in line with the Eagles' use of sports science. The Eagles coaching and medical staffs closely monitor every players' vital signs and statistics with an eye toward preventing injuries.
"We have full monitors on everybody. That’s why we have GPS systems and heart rate monitors and all those other things," Kelly said. "We can try to prevent injuries before they happen instead of after the fact saying, ‘that probably happened because he was dehydrated.’Well, we should have done something about it on Friday."
Kelly also pointed out that Murray did participate in individual drills at the start of practice on Sunday, but did not go through the team drills. Murray was a full participant in practice Tuesday for open practice at Lincoln Financial Field.
One running back who can speak to the sports science methods of Chip Kelly better than most is Kenjon Barner. According to him, staying hydrated to the level the coaching staff expects is about making the small adjustments in your schedule.
"When it comes to hydration, we just have to drink all day," Barner said after practice Tuesday. "When you wake up in the morning, you are what you are. When you wake up in the morning, it’s kind of hard to get back to where you were the previous day. So you have to set your alarm clock a little earlier to get the fluids back into your body. So it’s all about getting the system down so you can come out here, be hydrated and get the job done."