NFL players will be required to wear knee and thigh pads, beginning in 2013, in accordance with a rules change adopted Tuesday at league meetings.
Team owners voted in favor of the change, although input from the NFL Players Assn. is still required.
The league dropped the idea of requiring players to wear hip pads as well. Many players are resistant to wearing extra padding, feeling it slows them and doesn't look as sleek and fashionable.
"By the time you get to the league, you do whatever you can that's going to make you comfortable but you're still keeping within the integrity of the rules," said Roman Oben, a longtime NFL offensive lineman, told The Times in 2008.
"A lot of guys don't wear thigh or knee pads. Because, to be honest, if you're going to get a deep bruise, you're going to get one anyway. Some little four-by-six covering on your thigh is not going to make a difference. It might give you some initial protection, but it's not going to prevent an injury.