Redskins Continue to Rebuild Medical Staff

Chris Russell

Every Redskins fan knew how bad the Washington Redskins injury situation and most important, recovery and rehabilitation procedures were. 

It was awful. Anytime the issue came up, I continued to say it wasn't injury prevention but instead it was injury rehabilitation that the Redskins had to fix. Nobody paid attention to that because most fans and media think you should be able to just prevent injuries as opposed to fixing them. 

Maybe you can. That's in part, why the Redskins fired Larry Hess last week and hired Ryan Vermillion officially on Monday to rebuild that part of the Ron Rivera led culture and organization. 

Tuesday brought another hire and press release, which should tell you everything you need to know about how EVERYONE viewed the old way of doing things and the new way, while also continuing to send a message to Trent Williams and others currently on the roster and potential free agents. 

Via a Redskins press release: 

The Washington Redskins announced today Dr. Kevin Wilk as the team’s new medical consultant. Wilk will report directly to Head Athletic Trainer Ryan Vermillion.

“Kevin Wilk is one of the most established and successful physical therapists in our industry,” said Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder. “He has worked with some of the greatest athletes in sports and has known Ryan Vermillion for years. He is a great addition to our medical team and will be a tremendous asset to our players.”

“Kevin is one of the most respected physical therapists in the world of sports,” said Head Coach Ron Rivera. “His addition to our organization will be extremely beneficial to our players and will take our medical staff to the next level.”

“I’ve known Kevin Wilk for more than 30 years and his work speaks for itself,” said Redskins Head Athletic Trainer Ryan Vermillion. “He will be an invaluable part of our operation, providing our staff consultation on athletic performance and rehabilitation. Our goal is to be the best athletic training staff in professional sports and Kevin will help us achieve that goal.”

Kevin Wilk has worked with some of the biggest names in sports and has performed rehabilitation on Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Drew Brees, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Eli Manning, among many others.

Wilk is one of the most distinguished clinical physical therapists in the industry and has been a leading authority in rehabilitation of sports injuries and orthopedic lesions for 33 years. He is currently Associate Clinical Director for Champion Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Ala. and is also the Director of Rehabilitative Research at the American Sports Medicine Institute. Wilk has worked in professional baseball for 29 years and has worked with the Tampa Bay Rays since the organization was created, in the role of rehabilitation consultant.

Wilk has published over 170 journal articles and is on the review board for nine journals along with having delivered over 900 lectures at professional and scientific meetings. In 2012, he was inducted into the Sports Section Blackburn Hall of Fame and in that same year he was awarded the American Physical Therapy Association Catherine Worthingham Fellowship, which is the highest honor given to an APTA member. In 2004, Wilk received the Ron Peyton Award for career achievement from the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA and he has also received the James Andrews Award for achievement in the area of baseball science.

One of Vermillion and Wilk's first challenges will be trying to salvage Alex Smith's career as he continues to be an anchor on the Redskins payroll. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.