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Vikings RB Adrian Peterson helps to launch allergy education plan


Tuesday's health and safety news from the world of football:

* The Associated Press reported that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has launched an allergy education program.

Peterson has helped launch an educational program called Ready2Go for people with severe allergies.

"It breaks down to two things," the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player said Monday. "First thing is being prepared and knowing your allergic triggers and symptoms. Then, having access to injections and using the epi pens."

That's how Peterson dealt with the reaction called anaphylaxis. He immediately called his athletic trainer, Eric Sugarman — the man who oversaw Peterson's incredibly quick and productive return from torn knee ligaments — and was fortunate that Sugarman was familiar with such symptoms and had the equipment to deal with them.

"Being an athlete played a role in dealing with it," said Peterson, whose allergic reaction was to shellfish in gumbo — something he'd been eating his entire life. "You have to have an action plan."

* The Dallas Morning News reported the Dallas Cowboys are using ballet bars to increase their stretching and avoid injuries.

Outside of the team's Valley Ranch locker room, six workout machines and ballet bars have been added to help players avoid similar issues going forward.

"We've put a big emphasis on addressing, as an organization, some of the injuries that we've had," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said last week. "Just an emphasis on stretching, giving our players the opportunity, whether it's with ballet bars or V-sits or back systems, whatever things we use, we try to help them get into routines that can help them be flexible and avoid some of the injuries we've had. It's always been an emphasis for us. We have to look at ourselves and what we're doing to help our players stay as healthy as possible."

Garrett also acknowledged that the team's pre-practice stretching has changed.

* The Contra Costa Times reported the Oakland Raiders have been working ahead of the NFL's locker room culture seminars to stamp out bullying and hazing at their facility.

By the time the NFL contingent arrives in Alameda, Raiders coach Dennis Allen said it will be evident that he already is doing his part to help stamp out things such as hazing and bullying

"There's been some things that we've done to address (bullying)," Allen said. "That was one of the first things that we talked about when we got this group together.

Allen said that he has been vigilant about creating a safe and comfortable working environment since he joined the Raiders in 2012.

To that end, Allen said he banned the kind of hazing practices deemed humiliating, especially during training camp.

"We really limited the rookie hazing as part of our culture and the way that we do things," Allen said. "I don't believe in that."

* The Chicago Tribune offered a video of Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall's bicycle ride to benefit mental illness.

* The Detroit Free Press reported that St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Jake Long is raising money for a camp for sick children.

* reported that the Detroit Lions are already seeing the benefits of their new chef and revamped menu.

* The Pewter Report featured the Tampa Bay Buccaneers again going bald to benefit pediatric cancer patients.

* Cris Carter told The Plain Dealer that substance abuse is more important to Josh Gordon than football.

* The Steelers official website reported the team hosted its 17th annual Extra Mile Education Foundation Golf Outing.

* Bleacher Report looked at new helmet technology for football helmets and how it will make the game safer.

* Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman is in negotiations to join the WWE, according to The Miami Herald.

* Devon Walker, the former Tulane football player who was paralyzed in a game two seasons ago, will join the College Football Assistance Fund's Advisory Committee, The Times-Picayune reported.

* KPRC-TV in Houston reported on how many of the city's high school football teams are replacing their helmets after the latest Virginia Tech star ratings for helmets.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor



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