Count Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little among those not enamored with the NFL’s new rule that requires all players, save for punters and kickers, to wear thigh and knee pads. Since 1994 players have had the option of wearing the somewhat cumbersome pads, with many NFLers choosing not to wear them, saying the leg protection is uncomfortable and slows them down.
Little, however, cites a completely different reason for shunning the league’s new rule, as he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer…
“I’m definitely not wearing pads,” the third-year receiver said. “It’s just a swag thing. If you don’t feel good, you’re not gonna play good.”
But here’s where it gets tricky for Little, and any other player who doesn’t comply with the rule. With uniform inspectors checking players’ equipment on the field and/or in the locker room at random, being caught without the thigh and knee pads won’t result in a fine, but rather removal from a game, possible disqualification and potential supplemental discipline, according to league spokesman Michael Signora.
We’ll have to wait and see how this one plays out for Greg Little, but I have a feeling that the fear of missing significant playing time for not wearing the proper equipment will win out over the fear of losing your swag.