Knee, Thigh Pads to be Mandatory in 2013

Knee, Thigh Pads to be Mandatory in 2013

Jay Adams

Published February 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Somewhere, someone is missing their thigh pads.

During the second day of competition committee meetings in Indianapolis, the new equipment rules were explained to NFL personnel and there are a few changes.

Starting this season, players will be required to wear both knee and thigh pads as part of their uniform. In past years, it wasn’t mandatory for players to wear knee and thigh pads; it was a choice. That’s why you’d see wide receivers, running backs and even kickers without them.

Forgoing knee and thigh pads — for reasons of speed, comfort or whatever the case may be — will no longer be an option.

“We’re going to treat this issue much like a player trying to play without his helmet,” said NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks, speaking to NFL coaches Tuesday. “No player plays without his helmet. That’s just an accepted portion of the uniform. Everyone will have written notice of who’s not wearing their pads, so you will know who your problem individuals are coming back into the locker room.”

The NFL will now allow its uniform inspectors to pull a player off the field if they aren’t compliant with the new rules. Inspectors will check players before the game and at halftime.

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