NFL Teams Cleared to Use GPS Devices to Track Players During Games, Practices

Complain all you want about your job’s attendance policy. Your employers probably aren’t resorting to GPS to make sure you come to work.

Well, that’s not exactly what the NFL is doing, either, but it sure sounds like it. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tweeted Wednesday that the league has sent a memo to teams that says they can use GPS to track players.

The purpose of the GPS is not to keep track of where players are, though, according to a closer look by Yahoo! Sports’ Shutdown Corner. Instead, teams are trying to find a way to figure out how hard different positions are working during practice. The GPS measures different forms of acceleration, deceleration and other variables to get a finger on players’ conditioning. The device, combined with other data, can help teams make sure some players don’t push too hard.

The tracking can “help prevent injury as well as help us with the rehab process,” Bills strength and conditioning coach Eric Ciano said. The device gives teams tons of information that they can then sort and use however they like.

It stands to reason that teams won’t just be looking for players who are “overworking,” though — being able to measure how hard different guys are going may also mean that the NFL is clearing the way for catching slackers.

Be happy your job doesn’t have the device for that reason, too.

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