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Need to Know: With new rule it’s no pads, no play

Jul 15, 2013, 1:53 PM EDT

Comments Off on Need to Know: With new rule it’s no pads, no play

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 16, nine days before the Redskins start training camp.

No pads, no play

The NFL is taking advantage of this lull in the calendar to publicize a rule change that will affect every player on the field from the starting quarterback to the guy who only takes the field to block on field goals and extra points.

Merton Hanks, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, talked to USA Today and some other publications last week to talk about the new rule that requires players to wear knee and thigh pads during games.

When the rule was passed in 2012, many players and fans thought that failure to wear the pads would be a simple uniform violation, like wearing unapproved socks. Such violations are punished with a fines that start at $5,000. But that is not the case with the new pad rule. If a player isn’t wearing the proper padding he can’t play.

“If we have a player that somehow wants to buck the system, so to speak, and slips through the cracks, and he is on the field,” Hanks said, “at that point, we will notify the sideline team designee, (and) we will notify the back judge of the officials group to give this young man an opportunity to make the adjustment. And if he refuses, he will be removed from the game.”

So it looks like you trying to run on the field without your thigh pads will be like trying to run out there without a helmet.

The players don’t have to slip in those stiff, bulky pads like they used to. They can now don these underneath their pants and they’re set.

About 70 percent of NFL players have not been wearing the pads that have been optional since 1994 but will now be required. But they are a common-sense way to prevent injuries and the players should quickly get used to them.

Trent Williams started wearing thigh pads during last season but he started a game too late. As usual, he wasn’t wearing them during the Dallas game on Thanksgiving and he suffered a deep thigh bruise on the first offensive series. He was hampered by that preventable injury for the rest of the season.

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