Kevin Murphy (right) of the Seattle Seahawks in 1993 sported the bigger shoulder pads. Khalil Mack (left) that the Chicago bears in 2018 through the smaller sized ones. (Murphy picture by Stephen Dunn/Allsport/Getty Images; Mack photograph by mark Brown/Getty Images)

The NFL is a violent sport where players typically get injured. Transparent the years, the league has actually made changes to enhance player protection. However, one tendency that contradicts the NFL’s desire to keep safety is that players are wearing less and thinner padding.

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Football tools has always evolved over the years. Now, an ext wide receivers and defensive players choose wearing smaller and slimmer pads contrasted to two years ago.

According to present NFL players, smaller pads boost their agility and quickness, releasing a player to shot to record a ball or make a tackle.

“For a receiver, it’s around speed downfield and getting in and also out of tiny gaps in between the defenders as rapid as you can,” Baltimore Ravens vast receiver Willie Snead said in an post in the brand-new York Times. Snead agreed the players, specifically receivers, are weighed under by extra padding.

The trend of smaller pads might not seem safer, but for players, too lot padding that slows a player could be costly. Wide receivers and also running backs, outside of the quarterback, space the most likely to touch the football and also rely on your speed and also physical abilities to make a play. “Right now, a great receiver doesn’t have actually to get hit that much. The just time you really gain hit is when you’re getting tackled,” Sneed said.

On the the contrary side, protective backs like to have actually the minimum padding allowing more movement to handle or do a play, such together an interception or required fumble. Philadelphia Eagles protective end Michael Bennett claimed that smaller pads make him a far better pass rusher.

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“I’ve got complete range of motion and also I usage my hands more instead of just throwing my shoulder right into someone,” Bennett said. “I engage with an offensive lineman the right means – v outstretched arms.”

The NFL walk have significantly less strict policies once it pertains to padding in comparison to the NCAA and high school football. From the Times article: “All high school and also NCAA players are compelled to undertake hip, thigh and also knee pads, however in the NFL rulebook, hip pads are just ‘recommended.’ The standard need for padding includes a helmet, thigh, knee and also shoulder pads, however, “most knee pads are smaller sized than a slice of bread and wafer-thin.”

Current Baltimore safety Eric Weddle stated “nobody wears hip pads in the NFL. We believe an extra pad could give a fast wide-receiver six inches of separation from us in coverage and that might expense our team a touchdown.”

The mentality that less padding will make the player far better is definitely one method to look at it, however, player injuries becoming an ext frequent (up 13.5 percent in 2017 from 2016). The NFL has implemented much more rule changes come emphasize the player protection, consisting of the usage of helmet and on calls for roughing the passer, i m sorry could aid players who prefer to stay lighter and also fewer pads.

Tyler dare is a senior journalism major at Arizona State University