Indianapolis Colts Safety Chip Vaughn Benefits from EBA Apparel in Training


NFL players have had to adjust their routines more than ever this offseason.

The NFL lockout has prevented players from entering their teams’ facilities for training, watching film, rehabilitating from injuries and anything else they might consider standard procedure.

Indianapolis Colts safety Chip Vaughn is one of the many players who has had to adjust, and he’s found a pretty unique way to do so.

By Drew Allen

Having suffered shoulder issues since his days as a college football player at Wake Forest and throughout his three-year NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Colts, Vaughn has advanced his rehab procedures through use of an Evidence Based Apparel (EBA) S-3 garment, which helps improve upper-body posture and assists in upper-body exercises when tending to injuries in that region.

Among the results for Vaughn, who was placed on injured reserve after sustaining an ankle injury during the Colts’ Nov. 17 loss to the New England Patriots, are an increase in workout stamina and a quicker progression through rehab. Vaughn could only bench-press 315 pounds two or three times per workout without the EBA shirt, but he could do so at least eight times throughout his workout with the apparel. He also reported being two months ahead of schedule in his scheduled recovery.

“I think these shirts should really be a part of every training staff, rehabilitation process from the standpoint of anybody that has a shoulder problem, has some kind of scapular issue involved, this jacket’s going to just fix everything,” Vaughn said. “It’s going to align your whole posture. One thing about this jacket is that it’s not going to hinder you at all. If anything, the jacket is going to help you. There’s no negative side effects.”

Good to know something is helping out players during a time in which their employers can’t.

Instead, Vaughn has been following the same routine on his own: Wake up at 7:30 a.m. and go through rehab procedures until 10, do on-field sprints and then hit the weight room, all the while using the EBA garment. He’s maintained connections with his pre-draft drainer, whom he considered “one of the best trainers out here” and helped him regain weight he had lost when he first began his NFL career with the Saints (Vaughn expressed excitement at the Colts’ wanting “Old Chip” on their roster).

The safety position takes its toll on players, as does pretty much any spot in the secondary. Take a look at Vaughn’s Colts. Pro Bowler Antoine Bethea was the only defensive back to start every game in 2010; the unit finished 13th in the league in pass defense.

It’s been part of the game for Vaughn. Dating back to his playing days with the Demon Deacons, he has been fitted with screws in each of his shoulders and currently has a plate installed in the ankle that caused him to miss the remainder of last season.

“I kind of feel like I’m the bionic man out there,” Vaughn said. “I kind of feel like a whole new person, but this jacket is definitely helping as far as my old surgeries and with the one I just had, too.”

Could the development behind these EBA garments be a sign of the future, particularly the NFL’s future, as in, say, mandated use?

Vaughn said EBA, or at least something new, always will be coming.

“From college until now, I think just the technology and the medicine and the stuff that is available now is light years apart,” Vaughn said. “The stuff that I’m doing now, the things that my trainers are doing now is not the same stuff that I was doing back in college. That’s not a knock on college trainers at all. It’s that the game, the rehab process has just changed so much.

“I just think that the possibilities are endless. Five years from now, we’ll probably be talking about some new thing out there. The game’s always changing, so you’ve just got to keep evolving.”

Vaughn described the process as unique and something anyone should consider, but he’s also ready for the lockout to end just like the rest of us and get back to a routine with the Colts.

“I just can’t wait until the lockout is done with and I can go back up there with the team, and just train and work out and just get ready to go for this 2011 season,” he said.

Photos courtesy of Chip Vaughn




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  1. paulmbanks says

    Nicely done Drew! Great piece, and really interesting. This is something I could see as a piece on Real Sports or another cutting edge show that tells us where we’re going with medical and kinesiology technology


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