Senior staff writer
Beech Grove’s Jordan Moore won’t be home for the holidays.
As a seasonal athletic trainer in the NFL, Moore will be with the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve against the Buffalo Bills and on New Year’s Eve against the New York Jets.
“Won’t be home until summer,” said Moore, a licensed athletic trainer in Illinois and Massachusetts. But he will hook up with parents Joe and Denise Moore and older brother Joe II, who lives in Pittsburgh and is a professor at Carnegie Melon University, when New England visits Three Rivers Stadium on Sunday in a key matchup.
The Patriots are the second NFL team that Moore, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Purdue, has served after being with the Washington Redskins during the 2014 preseason. He called that experience intense because of the sheer number of athletes in camp.
With the Patriots, he works under head trainer Jim Whalen, two physical therapists and an assistant trainer.
“We are a team within a team,” Moore said. “They make the decisions but we work well together. The beauty of my position is that we really feed off each other.”
Moore explained a typical week with the Patriots after a Sunday game. They use Mondays and Tuesdays to diagnose injuries and for therapy. The next three days are used to physically prepare players for the next game. They have three sessions daily with the players.
“We deal with everyone who is hurt,” Moore said. “And we are making a lot of proactive measures with other players to prevent injuries.
“There is a real effort to keep everything light (among trainers). They are professionals and have to maintain good relationships with each other and the players.”
Game day begins with a round of treatments for players in the morning and taking medical and hydration supplies and emergency equipment to the field. Taping ensues about one to two hours before kickoff.
Before reaching the NFL, Moore worked with several college and high school teams while attending Purdue, where he worked with coach Matt Painter’s basketball team.
He said there is a big difference between collegiate and professional players. “I am working with the best of the best in the world,” Moore said of the NFL players. “This is their livelihood so the biggest difference is that they have to stay healthy. Our drive is to do everything we can to prevent injuries and to keep them healthy so they can play”
The 2011 Beech Grove High School graduate who played tennis, basketball and golf landed with the NFL teams through networking, mostly via athletic trainers at the University of Illinois.
He was at Dublin City University during the summer before landing a job with the Redskins. His experiences in Dublin included a look at the popular Gaelic Games, a combination of soccer and rugby.
Moore has taken a steady path along the way.
He said entering the athletic trainers program at Purdue is highly competitive with only 13 students selected. As senior athletic trainer, he worked with Purdue’s basketball team, which included a tourney in Hawaii and the trek to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the Crossroads Classic. Of course, the trip to Indy included dinner at St. Elmo’s Steak House.
At the University of Illinois, he was a graduate assistant trainer for the men’s and women’s tennis teams and later received his masters in kinesiology and exercise science. He directed various Gatorade summer camps at the school.
His sisters, Jaci Keller, is head of the English department at Shelbyville High School, and Jennifer Moore has a personal guidance business in Boise, Idaho.
His father is a former Beech Grove High School football coach and teaches part time at Beech Grove Middle School.
Jordan Moore has had two weekends away from NFL football and does not plan on returning to Beech Grove until summer 2018.
Although Moore won’t have the opportunity to return home until the summer, he said he’s grateful to be part of the NFL