Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson thinks it's "BS" that players are complaining about a new NFL mandate that requires them to wear thigh and knee pads during games.
Several players have spoken out against the new rule, saying it will slow them down. But Peterson, the reigning AP NFL MVP, said in an interview with Fox Sports that it's a bogus claim and added that professionals should be able to succeed despite a few extra pads:
"I'll call BS on that. It's like, 'You're a National Football League player. If a pad that doesn't weigh but a couple of ounces slows you down, you don't need to be playing in this league.' Like, come on now. Seriously."
The 28-year-old five-time Pro Bowler, who suffered a torn ACL and MCL in December 2011, said players like to be "pretty" but they need to realize they're putting themselves at a disadvantage over the long term if they don't wear proper padding.
"Guys like to be pretty, not wear the thigh pads and knee pads, but it protects you. There have been plenty of times I got hit in my knee and when I had my pants pulled up too high and that pad wasn't there to protect it. It didn't feel good. So I make sure I keep my pads pulled down and covering my knee just to be able to protect my body."
Peterson wore thigh, knee and hip pads after coming back from surgery last year and went on to rush for 2,097 yards, the second-most ever for a running-back in a single season; Eric Dickerson of the then-Los Angeles Rams recorded 2,105 yards in the 1984 season, although he had played two more games than Peterson.
The new league rule says that players will have to leave the field if they are not properly padded and cannot return until they comply. Miami Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline told the Miami Herald last week that he appreciates the efforts taken by the NFL to protect its players, but said he'd rather not wear them if he had the choice.
"Really, they don’t do a whole lot. I appreciate them taking the initiative, trying to protect the players, but I don’t think the biggest [injuries] are prevented from knee and thigh pads."
Dolphins tackle Tyson Clabo called the rule "silly" even though he wore the pads for the first eight years of his career:
“I think when you look statistically at the amount of injuries that occur in this league due to the lack of knee or thigh pads, it is minimal and [the rule] is silly...I don’t know what they’re thinking. [But] they have to pay the medical bills, so you can’t fault them for trying to keep us as healthy as they possibly can.”SI WIRE: Report: Texas sign Joe Mays, the linebacker who knocked out Matt Schaub