After a 2021 season marred by injuries, the Ravens have made a change to their athletic training program.
Tennessee Titans director of physical therapy and sports rehabilitation Adrian Dixon was named the team’s new head athletic trainer Tuesday. Dixon, who last year won Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year honors from the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, will oversee the Ravens’ evaluation and treatment of player injuries and illnesses, injury-prevention protocols, rehab protocols and the team’s athletic trainers and physical therapists.
Dixon replaces Ron Medlin, who will transition into a new role on the athletic training staff ahead of his 12th season in Baltimore. Medlin was named the head athletic trainer in 2018 after the retirement of Mark Smith.
Before joining the Titans’ staff as the team’s rehab coordinator and assistant athletic trainer in 2016, Dixon served as an assistant athletic trainer with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014 to 2016. He was also an athletic training intern with the Houston Texans (2013), Buccaneers (2007) and Chicago Bears (2005).
“Over the course of the last month, after meeting with multiple qualified candidates, it became quite evident that Adrian possessed all the traits and skills necessary to help us become the best player wellness program in the National Football League,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “We were very impressed by Adrian’s servant leadership, his passion for the challenge and his vision for our training room.”
Injuries and incomplete rehabilitations derailed the Ravens’ once-promising season last year. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, inside linebacker L.J. Fort and cornerback Marcus Peters suffered season-ending injuries in the preseason. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley and tight end Nick Boyle never fully recovered from season-ending injuries suffered the year before. Defensive lineman Derek Wolfe practiced sparingly and never played after suffering back and hip injuries in the preseason.
Later in the season, the Ravens lost cornerback Marlon Humphrey and safety DeShon Elliott to season-ending injuries as well. Quarterback Lamar Jackson, meanwhile, never returned from a bone bruise in his ankle he suffered in mid-December. According to one metric, no team was impacted more by injuries than the Ravens, who finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs.
“You can say it’s fluke,” coach John Harbaugh, who retained head strength and conditioning coach Steve Saunders, said of the team’s injuries last month. “I get that, but I don’t feel like we have the luxury to live there. That’s not something that we can say that that’s it. We have to turn over every stone. We have to look at every possible avenue to do the best we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again. That’s what we plan on doing.”
Dixon will start in his new position Wednesday and help lead the team’s medical evaluations at the NFL scouting combine next week.