The NFL is looking to enhance player safety by asking players to wear more padding in 2010.
The league will urge 12 of 32 NFL teams to experiment with new, lighter pads for the knee, thigh and hip during training camp and preseason games, USA Today reports.
Each of the 12 teams will be on the East Coast because of close proximity to league personnel.
Many NFL players don’t currently wear extra padding due to the loss of speed in which the pads may cause. But the league wants to prevent injury whenever possible and set a positive example for college and high school players, according to Ray Anderson, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations.
While the players will not be required to wear the pads during the 2010 regular season, that could change in 2011.
"It's not mandated for 2010. But we anticipate we'll need to mandate it going forward," Anderson told USA Today. "We're not going to relinquish on player safety. Particularly when we know we can prevent lost workdays and help players stay on the field. That's to their benefit and the club's benefit."
The NFL rulebook currently recommends knee, thigh and hip padding but only requires uniforms, helmets and shoulder pads.
The NFL Players Association will be working with the league to get player feedback.