DAVENPORT - As football season kicks off all over the Quad Cities, it's a good time to be on the lookout for sports injuries.
Far from the cheering crowd, preparation begins for game day.
For the Davenport Assumption Knights, practice is all about staying sharp and safe on the football field.
"When you've got two guys colliding, some kids have different abilities to know whether they're really hurt bad, or if this is just bumps and bruises," said Dr. Andrew Bries, ORA Orthopedics.
Dr. Bries should know. This is his eighth season as team physician.
Head Coach Wade King appreciates those skilled eyes and ears. It makes a big difference during a game.
"Besides being a great doctor, he's a great fan," Coach King said. "He enjoys being around our kids and certainly makes himself available to them when we need him."
Football, one of the most popular sports, is also one of the most dangerous. It's the leading cause of school sports injuries.
"Trying to find out who can go back in and play and who needs to sit out is the real challenge," Dr. Bries continued.
That's why there's a team approach to prevent and treat injuries. It starts with the player and continues to the coaches, trainer and doctor.
"We want to manage any kind of injury the best we can," Coach King said. "Doc really helps us out with that."
Teams are especially focusing on concussion awareness, and tragic heat-related injuries are grabbing national attention. Routine mishaps, though, like sprains and strains, are a big part of the job.
"Ankle sprains are very, very common on the football field," Dr. Bries said. "An athlete tries to cut, and they get tackled. We see lots of finger sprains. Occasionally, we do see some broken bones."
With each play in practice or a big game, taking aim on safety with Dr. Bries.