The NFL game is constantly changing, and with it, so are the rules by which players must abide.
One of the new rules for the 2013 NFL season will make it mandatory for all players to wear all their pads — including those for their thighs and knees — in an effort to increase player safety. The padding rule is actually an old one that was removed in the 1990's but will be restored after this season. The new guidelines will be an adjustment for many, but not Steven Jackson, who already dons full pads whenever he plays.
"I'm the one back, probably, who wears every pad," SJ said on Wednesday. "It's going to be a change in culture."
Steven said he wears all his pads for personal reasons, but he understands why others don't. He noted that in college, some seniors who are getting ready to enter the NFL Draft start shedding pads as the season goes on. He doesn't, however, believe that player performance will be negatively impacted by the requirement to play with more padding.
"The way things are being designed now is not like the 1970's and 60's where you had pads sticking out," said S-Jax, who has his pads woven into his pants by Nike. "It can be done in a way that you can still feel aerodynamic and like you're able to move."
As for if the use of more padding will make the game safer, No. 39 isn't so sure. he believes while padding can prevent some of the bumps and bruises a play accumulate's during a game, major knee and leg injuries aren't preventable.
"It's a collision sport," he said. "If your ACL is going to go out, it's going to go out. Forcing people to wear pads, I don't know if it solves the issue."