KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The unsung heroes of Thursday night's game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs might be the trainers.
"It's a challenge for the players to get themselves right, so we try to help them the best way we can," Chiefs Coach Andy Reid said.
"First you have to get yourself physically right. You got to make sure you are in here getting the treatment getting your body right," Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes said.
Mahomes said Monday with a condensed week he'd be at the facilities from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day studying film.
"The number one thing that we can do is make sure your athletes are getting enough sleep and preaching that," Will Arens said.
Strength Coach Will Arens is not one of the The University of Kansas Health System trainers who works directly with the Chiefs but knows many of the tools the trainers are using. Players workouts likely consist of lighter weight with more reps to get the blood flowing. Proper blood flow aids in recovery. He added the preparation for a week like this one starts in the off season.
But it's not all about foam rollers and compression sleeves, players diets can play a big role in their recovery. It starts with a lot of real whole foods and eliminating cheat days. Healthy fats are vital for fighting inflammation.
"During the athletic season when the sports season might get compressed and they have more practices or more events then that becomes more important and you have a foundation to build on," registered dietitian and nutritionist Randy Evans said.
In the end a peak Thursday Night Football performance could come down to trusting the trainers, and your body, that you can adapt to a new routine.
"It kind of goes unnoticed but they do a great job making sure we are in the best physical shape to go out and play the game that we want to play," Mahomes said.
You can watch the game live Thursday night on FOX4, special coverage starts at 6 p.m.