While concussions garner much of the attention in terms safety in football, there’s another rule sneaking into the game at the professional level this year that hasn’t been on the radar of that many people. That rules stipulates that players will have to wear knee pads and thigh pads in order to play.
Until now, such pads were optional, and the National Football League figured that only three out of ten players wore them. But with the league (and play at both the college and youth levels) under increased scrutiny due to lawsuits by players and concerns about the threat of concussions and other safety issues, measures like this are being taken to further protect players.
A new report takes a look at the fallout of the new rule, with some players in favor of it and others wondering if it will negatively impact their game. One player with the Redskins notes that his experience with a thigh bruise caused him to start wearing the pads. A representative of the league, when questioned about the impact this would have on injury rates, hinted that they would know more after this season.
Still, some worry about the new measure on safety grounds. Officials with the NFL Players Association believe that more needs to be done to curb more serious injury threats.