While the NFL has been battling cries for better concussion detection and management the league went in a different health direction on Tuesday, announcing a rule change that will require all players to wear thigh and knee pads starting in the 2013 season.
While the players’ union could oppose the rule because it was not collectively bargained, Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee says the rule is a “playing rule” and can therefore be implemented unilaterally.
Team owners also took time during their meeting to move from trading deadline from Week 6 to after Week 8 and they agreed to allow one “marquee” player placed on injured reserve to return to practice after the sixth game and then return to play after the eighth game. Team owners agreed that the returning player must be on the teams 53-man roster after the final preseason cut.
In the meantime NFL team owners agreed to wait on the 2013 thigh and knee pad rules so equipment manufacturers could work on the comfort and safety features for those pads, helping to ensure that performance decline is minimal for all players.
The NFL has come under fire over the last several years because of concussion and other injury related accidents, NFL team owners, commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL executives have promised since that time to make the sport a more friendly environment towards avoiding injury.
Do you think requiring thigh and knee pads in the NFL is a smart move for team owners to make on behalf of their players?