League intends to sideline players not following new padding guidelines


The National Football League has made it mandatory for players to wear knee and thigh pads beginning with the upcoming season. Many players, especially at the wide receiver and defensive back positions, have elected not to wear the padding in previous years (such as Seattle’s Sidney Rice and Atlanta’s Asante Samuel, pictured).

Players could expect a hit to their wallets for not conforming to uniform policy stipulations such as shoe and sock color. However, the league plans to take the discipline a step further if players plan to willfully violate the new policy on padding. According to Tom Pelissero of  USA Today, the NFL will pull a player from the game if they are not complying with the rule changes.

“The more important deterrent, quite frankly, is that player will be removed from the game, and no player wants to miss time on game day,” NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks said. “The coaches certainly have voiced their opinion — that’s not something they’re willing to tolerate. Can you imagine having a player that you’ve designed a play for not in the game because he’s chosen not to adhere to the padding options that every other player has to adhere to?”

Many players have been critical of the new policy. Dallas Cowboys safety Barry Church said having to wear the pads was “going to stink.” San Diego Chargers linebacker Jarrett Johnson called it “a P.R. stunt” and Denver Broncos cornerback Quentin Jammer said it was “dumb.”

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little steadfastly declared he wouldn’t wear the pads.

Nominal fines haven’t deterred players from violating uniform rules in the past so the league has decided to take away something that matters a bit more – their playing time. Uniform inspectors will survey the players beginning in pregame activities and will notify the teams if any adjustments need to be made. If a player doesn’t comply with the requests they will be sidelined until they do. Fines are still possible as well for violations.

Ultimately Hanks doesn’t feel it will be a major issue for the players to adjust to the changes.

“We anticipate, quite frankly, minimal action in this regard and would love to be 100-percent,” Hanks said. “Wearing thigh and knee pads is no different than wearing a helmet and shoulder pads. We won’t allow you to play without a helmet on, either.”

45 responses to “League intends to sideline players not following new padding guidelines

  1. I wonder what is the players’ issue with the pads? Is it something they feel restricts their movement? Is it a macho thing? Do they just not like the way they look? Or do they just think the pads aren’t effective and thus useless?

  2. The players are right!! This is a silly rule,and I steadfastley disagree with anyone who claims it will make the game safer or prevent injuries (save maybe a bruise). I suspect anyone who feels differently never played.

  3. So let me get this straight. The league is going to crack down on pads yet arrests, gun violations, and murders are taking place? Glad they have their priorities straight, pads.

  4. Knee pads are 100% useless. Thigh pads at least make sense in theory, although hardly ever useful.

    As the players have said, dumb.

  5. Good. They should get pulled if their chinstrap is unbuckled, too. I don’t how many times I’ve seen somebody’s helmet come flying off from a regular hit/tackle. This can only be because a) the helmet does not fit properly, which is not safe and thus the NFL is not doing their job or b) their chinstrap is unbuckled. I’ve played football before and if your helmet fits properly and is buckled, there is no way in hell it can come off after a hit. It is hypocritical of the NFL to let players take snaps without their chinstrap buckled.

  6. The pads aren’t meant to protect other players from your thigh or knee. They’re meant to protect you from their pads, feet and helmets. That being said, the only deterrent should be the prospect of breaking your own knee cap or leg. If you’re too dumb to get that, then by all means let the breaks and bruises prove you wrong.

  7. @dsully69,

    The lawsuits from players who get injured will cost the league potentially a lot more than player misconduct, even a murder, hence the priorities you have noticed

  8. Yeah, all you “experts” are right. They ought to make them all wear skirts, they’re all a bunch of overpaid prima donnas anyways.

  9. Players have missed games because of deep thigh bruises and bruised knees. Wear the pads and stay healthy.

    New nfl rule proposal, if you helmet comes off your head because you are to cool to button your chin strap then the helmet gets duct taped to your head.

  10. The value of the leg pads to protect thighs and knees is minimal. The real value is preventing knee to the head concussions which are very frequent.

  11. There’s no reason to blame the modern day league for this. They’re doing everything in their power to not only avoid the lawsuits they have on their plate now, but to protect the players as well. Kinda soft, but we all have to look at it from their point of view.

  12. I think every player should wear knee braces. This would help to drastically reduce knee injuries, which are at an all time high. If everybody wore them, it would be an equalizer and everybody would have the same handicap. With the speed of the game nowadays, it would make for a safer environment with our favorite players playing longer and for the entire season.

  13. Tacowrecker

    The knee and thigh pads make it harder/more awkward to run, hence why most players dont like to wear them

  14. Are they going to keep a player on the sideline if he refuses to wear his skirt?

  15. Sure they do;). It really depends on which players actually decide to make a stand doesn’t it?
    Put a man out of a job because he doesn’t wear a pad–seriously? If your union is that weak, you don’t deserve your paycheck.

  16. So a player doesn’t want to wear knee/ thigh pads, fine, but he can’t have it both ways IMO.
    If a player CHOOSES to not wear the pads, then the NFL should see to it that that choice amounts to an inferred waiver of his right to sue for any past, present, or future leg injury.
    Players should NOT be allowed to violate rules that will make them safer, and then have the legal ability to turn around and sue their employer and claim that the “NFL didn’t do enough to protect me from myself” or ” the NFL should’ve forced me to wear those pads for my own good”.
    All of the legal protections should be in place to protect the NFL itself, not players who willingly violate the rules.

  17. Wear the damn pads. There are so many more important issues you should be taking a stand on. Like the rule that says running backs can’t lower their heads. If applied sensibly then good rule…if applied like the defenseless receiver or quarterback roughing the passer rule in which questionable calls after questionable calls were made then bad rule.

  18. The players objections are just plain stupid and infantile….. The idea that these pads will somehow limit their movement and speed is patently ridiculous ..wear the freakin pads or STFD.

  19. Surely a very minor restriction in movement is a small price to pay for not missing games to deep leg bruising?

    You never heard Jerry Rice complaining about leg pads, and he did quite well.

  20. How about mouthguards? They’re a critical part of preventing concussions, so if the NFL was serious about head injuries, that should be a part of it.
    As long as everyone has to wear them, they can put them out there in inflateable sumo-suits for all I care.

  21. “Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little steadfastly declared he wouldn’t wear the pads.”

    You may think Greg is stupid for his stubbornness, but he has it figured out. Less time on the field, fewer dropped passes. Dude is pretty smart if you ask me.

  22. soundsofsucess7: Knee pads are 100% useless.


    The vikequeen nation begs to disagree.

  23. How is it referred to as “not adhering to padding OPTIONS”, when it’s mandatory to wear them? There’s no options if it’s a mandate. Gooddell’s Gustapo contradicts itself, yet again. Just stay out of it, let the players worry about the health risks, & just play football. It’s not a children’s league, for Christ’s sake. I miss the pre-Roger Hitler NFL.

  24. For all the questions on here…

    – The primary reason players don’t like leg pads is that they restrict movement – particularly at the skill positions where full sprinting happens routinely.

    – Knee / thigh / hip pads can be useful in preventing contusions and pointers, but do little if anything to prevent the serious leg injuries – e.g. ligament tears, groin pulls, etc.

    – Overall, this rule does little to improve player safety. The injuries these pads prevent aren’t incredibly common. They mainly just cover different degrees of bruising. And most of these guys have such excellent muscle development that they don’t need them – which is why they aren’t concerned with wearing them.

  25. …oh and for what its worth, the knee pads do partially help pad the blow from knees to the head (mostly relevant for ball carriers).

  26. Please, somebody tell me what knee injury, in history, would’ve been prevented by wearing knee pads. This is yet another, in an increasingly LONG line of imbecilic mandates by Adolf Gooddell. He is ruining this sport more & more, each passing season. I can only pray that something or someone stops him before he turns it into 2-hand touch & completely kills the sport we all love.

  27. Lets see the players don’t think the league cares about their safety but they don’t want to wear pads for some extra safety.

  28. Good for the league.

    Bad for the players whining like 14 year old girls, and the moronic posters here that support them.

    Those pads are basic protection items that wont hurt the players. If they slow them down, minutely, then everyone is being slowed down. Anyone who doesn’t think the pads are a good idea are 20 lbs of dumb in a 2 lb sack.

  29. If they don’t want to wear the stuff, then make them sign injury waivers. But really, does the NFL need to be mom, dressing their little boys before church on Sunday?

    I would be willing to bet Greg Little is wearing pads now. Any takers?

  30. dsully69 says:
    Jul 10, 2013 11:07 PM
    So let me get this straight. The league is going to crack down on pads yet arrests, gun violations, and murders are taking place? Glad they have their priorities straight, pads.


    It’s pretty easy to sideline someone during a game… But to think the NFL can control people’s lives outside of the realm of football is just unrealistic. They are limited to the same things as the rest of society, tell people to act properly, and punish them if they do not. The NFL has thousands of employees at any time, it’s just unrealistic to assume they are all going to be saints. Does everyone forget that Robert Downey Jr. once served 6 months in jail and was pulled over for a DUI and had a handgun and cocaine in his car?? Hollywood didn’t ban him for life because he was a dumb kid with money and no responsibility. And those people saying the Denver executives should be banned for life, then go home and watch Iron Man or 24 (Kiefer Sutherland was a wild one too) are just hypocrites. The NFL employees people, and people screw up…

  31. I don’t know why people are trying to complain about the league mandate.

    It was inevitable, they really don’t have a choice.

    Blame the players both former/active.

    The current players are complaining about having to wear extra pads, while the formers that had to wear said pads are complaining that the league didn’t do enough to protect them from themselves.

    That’s right, protect them from themselves. It is ludicrous, that being stated it is even worse that they are suing and might actually win.

    Anybody that owns any business would start putting if similar measures pertinent to their profession.

  32. steelers4385 says:
    Jul 11, 2013 10:40 AM
    I wish someone would snap and beat the living crap out of goodell. Just once


    $100 says it’s a Seahawk.

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