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New pad rule begins this season: no thigh or knee pads, no play

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Posted: 07/11/2013 5:25 AM

New pad rule begins this season: no thigh or knee pads, no play 


CBSSports.com | Jul 10

Merton Hanks played nearly a decade in the NFL at safety. When he was with the San Francisco 49ers, through the 1990s, he was a devastating weapon, routinely turning interceptions into big gains. He made four Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl.

For much of his career, Hanks wore thigh and kneepads. Many players didn't but Hanks always believed the extra protection kept him safe. Hanks found that when he didn't wear them he often received thigh bruises.

Did the padding slow him down?

Hanks laughs. “Back then, yes,” he said in an interview with CBSSports.com. “But padding now is lighter.”

This is a key point in an issue that's receiving little attention but will soon be critical. Beginning next season, all NFL players will be required to wear thigh and knee pads in games. Hanks, now the NFL's vice president of football operations, will be one of the people overseeing the implementation of the new rule.

This is a fact few are completely aware of. Even some players seem to be slightly confused. But this is the main fact: if a player doesn't wear thigh or knee pads, they cannot play in games. Period. That's it.

No thigh or knee pads, no play.

Here's how the new system will work. If a player is in a game without the required padding, at the next stop in play, an NFL equipment monitor will inform the back judge that a player is without the mandatory equipment (it's the back judge who comes to the sideline to work with television personnel for the commercial timeouts).

The back judge would then inform the referee and the referee would tell the head coach that the player isn't eligible until the pads are on. Hip and butt pads remain optional.

Making the pads mandatory is a smart idea. No brainer, actually. It will save knees and thighs from unnecessary damage. It will also possibly help reduce concussions. Think of it this way. A knee accidently hitting a helmeted head is different perhaps from a padded knee hitting a helmeted head.

“It's a change of philosophy,” Hanks said. “We don't allow players to play without their helmets or shoulder pads ... no need to take on added risk of thigh bruises or worse.”




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Posted: 07/11/2013 1:02 PM

Re: New pad rule begins this season: no thigh or knee pads, no 


If you never took a shot in the thigh with a helmet and had your leg go numb you would also know that its a good idea!tongue
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Posted: 07/12/2013 10:00 AM

Re: New pad rule begins this season: no thigh or knee pads, no 


Yeah, I had a deep thigh bruise one time where I could barely walk for a week.


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Posted: 07/12/2013 3:05 PM

Anything that will help you bounce back up off the ground.... 


....is fine by me. I think injuries are the biggest bugaboo about the game. If you are playing a decimated team, how can you telll how good you are?noidea
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