NFL Makes Thigh & Knee Pads Mandatory For Upcoming Season

By Randall Stevens  |  05/22/2012

NFL thigh and knee padsThe NFL revealed some new mandatory rules this week, announcing that the league has made thigh and knee pads mandatory equipment for the upcoming 2013 season.

However, according to the Associated Press, the new rule is something the players' union could oppose because the move was not collectively bargained.

Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee, said Tuesday (May 22) during an owners meeting that because this is a playing rule, the league can implement it unilaterally.

Additionally, owners also voted to move the trading deadline from after Week 6 to after Week 8, and to allow one "marquee" player placed on injured reserve to return to practice after the sixth game and to the lineup after the eighth game.

That player, however, must be on the 53-man roster after the final preseason cut.

As far as the new pads rule, it won't go into effect until 2013 so that equipment manufacturers can work on safety and comfort.