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Broncos Phillip Lindsay & Others Help Push For Athletic Trainer Bill

DENVER (CBS4) - The State Capitol is not a place you expect to see Broncos players. But six Broncos, including quarterback Case Keenum and running back Phillip Lindsay, brought an all out blitz to a committee hearing to give back to those who have their back -- athletic trainers.

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Those trainers say unless the state changes the law to license them as health professionals, they won't be able to travel out of state anymore.

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Phillip Lindsay (credit: CBS)

Lindsay told lawmakers a personal story about why he supports the bill. He says before he became a running back for the Broncos, he played for Denver's South High School where he blew out his knee his senior year.

"I didn't have the money to go to an athletic trainer to rehab like I wanted to. So I had to use school trainer. She worked on my knee. It didn't come out well. So I went into college with my knee... I couldn't bend or straighten my knee. I ended up having to red shirt and lose two years."

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But the Colorado Athletic Trainers Association says it goes beyond quality control.

"We truly are the first responders. We have to make life-saving decisions," Jim Keller, President of the Association told lawmakers. He says under a new federal law, trainers need to be licensed as health professionals or their liability insurance will no longer work out of state.

Representatives Edie Hooton and Kevin VanWinkle say right now trainers are registered in Colorado. Their bill would make a change in name only -- from registration to licensure -- to comply with federal law.

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"In practice this would allow a Colorado athletic trainer to travel to Kansas, practice their profession and have their Colorado liability insurance cover them in case of a malpractice incident in Kansas," Hooton said.

For Lindsay and his teammates it's about peace of mind and taking care of those who take care of them.

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"I have a great staff at the Denver Broncos that have my back 24-7. and I just feel more comfortable that they're licensed."

While republicans typically oppose licensing bills, this one passed its first committee with only one no vote -- the democratic chair of the committee.

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