Jul 25, 2013, 8:55 PM PST
Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings is a bad roommate. He’s not too noisy, but his hyperbaric oxygen chamber sure is. Jennings, 28, arrived at the Napa Valley Marriott for his first Raiders training camp on Wednesday, and the first thing he asked for upon checking in was a cart to wheel the various pieces of a high-tech sleeping chamber up to his room.
“I called and said, ‘Look, I feel kind of bad. Can I pay for my own room? Because I don’t know if they are going to sleep,’” Jennings joked. “It seems kind of selfish doesn’t it? We’ll figure something out. I can’t do that.”
Jennings is embarking upon his fifth season in the NFL. As it turns out, he has enough seniority to pull off getting his own room. He has grown accustomed to planning ahead when it comes to accommodating the hyperbaric oxygen chamber that he started using in his rookie season. It’s worth the trouble because he believes in the healing power it provides.
While inside the chamber, Jennings breaths 100 percent pure oxygen and the pressure surrounding his body slowly increases. As a result, swelling in his body is reduced and more blood and nutrients flow into his extremities.
The healing technique is more than a fad. John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek has its own special hyperbaric oxygen chamber unit to help treat trauma. According to the hospital, the chambers are used to treat swelling, inflammation, chronic bone infection, and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in areas of reduced circulation.
NFL running backs take a beating and whatever can help them heal quicker (legally) is incredibly important. Jennings was turned onto the technique by former teammate, All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Based on Jones-Drew’s recommendation, Jennings made the hyperbaric oxygen chamber his first big purchase after being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
The expensive piece of medical equipment costs between $6,000 to $20,000 to purchase for personal use (not counting the cost of electricity). It is a nine-foot long, four-foot wide piece of equipment.
Somehow, Jennings managed to stuff the whole contraption into his Dodge Challenger.
There’s no question it’s Darren McFadden’s show in Oakland, but Jennings can rest easy in his chamber knowing that he’ll likely get a crack at carrying the ball with the Raiders. McFadden has never lasted all 16 games of an NFL season. Maybe Jennings can help him get set up with a chamber of his own.
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