It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Knee protection should be mandatory in NFL

page: 1

log in


posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 01:50 PM
I have been a fan of the NFL (NY Giants) for 35 years and am amazed that more attention is not given to protecting player's knees. The most prevalent injury suffered by NFL players is damage to the knees, no matter if you're a running back, lineman, receiver, or quarterback (see Tom Brady). Some players require surgery and are gone for weeks, seasons, and in many instances, their entire career is ended much too soon. Some return but many never perform up to their previous potential.

High performance helmets have been required for years. Shoulder pads, flak jackets and even gloves have advanced in design to minimize the risk of injury and effectiveness. But what do players do on a regular basis, which is integral to the game? Run. You can't run without legs and your legs are worthless if you have injured knees.

There are many receivers and even a few running backs who even shun thigh and knee pads because they believe they can run faster without them; they'll worry about getting injured later, as long as they can make that big play. As a Giants fan, I can't count the times that I watch Plaxico Burress run a slant route over the middle of the field to take a huge hit and literally fold up like a rag doll. All it takes is for his cleats to get caught in the turf and his whole life as a football player is over. Sure, Plax and many other players have a history with ankle problems, but I still insist that the knees are the most vulnerable part of a player's body.

No one questions that players have to wear helmets. Given the huge investment that owners have in players I can't believe that the league hasn't required players to wear some type of brace or other protection to minimize injury to the knees. Will it slow some of the skill players down? Sure, for now. But if everyone on the field was required to wear this protection there would be no advantage. And given the rapid advancements in sports science, I don't think it would take very long for everyone to adapt and the game to return to the same level of play that we see now.

NASCAR instituted the HANS rule because they finally realized that it was necessary to protect the drivers from serious injury and even death.

I think it is a great injustice that the NFL ignores the fact that so many player's careers are ended by an injury that could potentially be reduced or even eliminated with the inclusion of knee protection league-wide.

How many more Tom Brady's will it take before the NFL seriously addresses this issue? And how many remember those infamous pictures of Joe Namath's knees, covered with surgery scars, that ultimately ended his career?

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 02:47 PM
Most of our sports over here in Australia, such as, Australian Rules (A.F.L), Rugby League and Rugby Union, are all full contact sports and players wear a very small amount of protective gear if any at all.

I have always wondered when watching (grid-iron, football or what-ever it's called) why they wear so much gear?

AFL, isn't really a good example of this, but if you look at Rugby, then you will see that both sports (Grid-iron and Rugby) have quite alot of agressive play, yet in Rugby, they have hardly any protection.

I think the sport would be alot more interesting too watch if they DIDN'T wear that much protection and toughened up a bit.

No insult, just an observation from the other side of the globe.


(EDIT: I love the avatar by the way, I can guess what the dog is thinking..."Will I get into trouble if I eat this?"

[edit on 4/10/08 by fox_3000au]

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 03:57 PM
Thanks for the comparison to rugby and the AFL. I remember some years ago when ESPN was still in its infancy that they used to put AFL games on pretty regularly and I was amazed at the fact that they wore so little protection.

Without knowing a whole lot about the other two sports you mentioned I can only offer an opinion based on what I see in the NFL. Using my NY Giants as an example, they have a running back named Brandon Jacobs who is 6'4" and weighs 265 lbs. He makes a point of hitting the opposing players who try to tackle him as absolutely hard as he can. It is quite common to see defenders literally knocked completely off their feet and land on their backs trying to slow this train down. The punishment that he hands out is devastating. And he is only a running back. It is very common for linemen in the NFL to weigh well over 300 lbs and they are not just big guys filling a hole. They are fast and extremely strong and physical. The overall size of the players in the NFL, the speed of the game and the outright violence of some of the hits make for some pretty serious injuries.

In contrast to the fairly free flow of the game in AFL and rugby, the NFL sets up each play as a separate entity. Everyone lines up facing each other and as soon as the ball is snapped and put into play the only mission for the players is to completely dominate the opposing team through brute strength and designed plays to move the ball down the field, sometimes in small increments of a yard or two at a time. Its this style of lining up, hitting and being hit, over and over by behemoths that take its toll.

So, I guess to summarize my OP, the size of the players in the NFL compared to the other sports, the violence of the hits throughout the game, and the potential for serious injury on virtually every play, lends to the need for greater protection for the players.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 04:09 PM
The protective gear is the problem, however. A helmet or shoulder pad to the side of the knee can cripple you for life. I think that is the difference between Rugby and American football.

Any player can get all the protection he wants. It's a matter of choice. Some don't want knee protection because they fear it will cut down on their mobility. I can understand this for a receiver or running back. BUt Brady is not known as a scrambler. I can guarantee that he will be wearing a brace on that leg when he returns.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by zlots331

You being a Giants fan... a great talent, Jason Sehorn, suffered a very severe knee injury, which effectively ended his career. What a loss!

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 04:31 PM
reply to post by jsobecky

I agree with your point about Brady in the pocket but I guess it just goes to show that anyone can get hurt like that at any time. The fact that he is probably the most recognized player in the league going down with the knee injury kind of makes my point.

My comment about ownership putting up huge amounts of money for these guys would make you think they would be a little more proactive on their part to protect the players at all costs. But I agree that nothing will ever happen along these lines, I just hate to see young men crippled for life.

You're right about Sehorn. One game he decides he wants to return kicks and his career is over. Hot wife though.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 04:40 PM
Originally posted by fox_3000au

(EDIT: I love the avatar by the way, I can guess what the dog is thinking..."Will I get into trouble if I eat this?"

There is another picture that goes along with this one but it wouldn't fit in the side bar. He's getting a little taste to see if its worth eating or not.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 04:42 PM
reply to post by zlots331

I think the only NFL player that ever "successfully" returned from a torn ACL was Rod Woodson. But he was always in exceptional shape to begin with.

Sehorn's wife - HOT!

posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 06:40 PM
As jsobecky pointed out and as I was going to point out in my origional reply... "The protective gear is the problem, however. A helmet or shoulder pad to the side of the knee can cripple you for life. I think that is the difference between Rugby and American football."

Could it be that if the players wore less protective gear then the chance for injury by the equipment would be less?

Your correct with your view of AFL being a free flowing game, therefore the risk of an impact injury is greatly reduced in comparison too the style and format of play in NFL and Rugby. The aim of the game in AFL is too keep moving and this is acheived through kicking and handbaling the ball over long and short distances, in the NFL and Rugby... It is basically Shock and Awe!

If you look at the game of Rugby, they wear hardly any equipment, thin shoulder pads at the best, (I'm not Rugby literate) each of their plays are seperate enities also, both teams line up and face each other, and the object is too crash through the opponents line and they get five goes at trying too get to the "try line" in order too score. As a victorian here in Australia my game is AFL, if there was a NSW, or QLD'er or an English person or Kiwi in here they could explain better the brutality of the game.

With that said, the amounts of injuries that these guys in Rugby receive can be pretty horrendous, though that is rare, the most common would be black eyes, grazes and strains.

I feel that if they wore more equipment, then the injuries could be alot worse because the self conservative nature of a player that doesn't want too receive a potentially season ending injury would be out of the window so too speak, though pure rage and anger in a competitive play usually leads to these injuries anyhow as well as sacrifice. Would the game of NFL suffer due too the lack of the bulky equipment?

Just as a side question (has nothing too do with the topic but is asked out of interest more than anything and can be answered at anyones discretion). With out all the flashy gear (and yes it is flashy, it really is impresive!) would NFL be as popular in American Culture as it is currently?

I understand that your thread is about knee protection, but could these injuries be a result possibly from other peices of equipment that have been implemented as well as just the wear and tear from physical strain? and could the possibility of knee pads limit the mobility of a player too the extent that would open him to potential injury?

Cheers, Fox.

BTW: Thats one very tollerent dog.

("...How do I get this wrapper off???"

top topics


log in