Why Do Football Players Tape Their Arms?

If you watch football often you’ve likely noticed the trends of football players taping the bottom of their arms. The tape used in these situations is kinesiology tape and has been used to treat injuries in sports for years, though this is not why most players wear it.

Football players tape their arms in order to avoid the “rug burn” received when taking a fall on turf. When a player’s arms slide across the turf they often receive scratches or cuts referred to as turf burn.

The vast majority of NFL players do not wear tape on their arms but those that do usually do it for this purpose. Saints running back Alvin Kamara is the most one of the most popular examples of an NFL player that wears tape on their arms.

Other players elect to wear armbands or sleeves in order to prevent this injury from happening. Some players believe that having the sleeves on their arms makes it more difficult to hold onto the ball.

For these players, tape is often a better option. This is because the tape is only on the bottom of their arms meaning it won’t affect the portion of their arms that holds onto the ball.

Aside from taping their arms many football players have been known to place tape around their fingers or tape up their shoes and ankles.

What Positions Tend To Wear Tape On Their Arms?

Now that you understand why these players wear tape on their arms we are going to break down what positions tend to wear this piece of equipment.

Running Backs

The position that tends to wear tape on their arms most frequently is running backs. These players wear this piece of equipment for one simple reason, they are on the ground the most often.

Starting running backs will get quite a few carries throughout the course of the game. And almost all of these carries end with the running back being tackled to the turf.

When tackled while moving forward the runningbacks will often hit the ground with their elbows first and slide a short distance on the turf.

It is this sort of contact with the turf that can cause turf burn. By wearing this tape these players can take these hits easily and not worry about injuring their arms.

Some running backs will elect to use tape with padding on the elbow for this purpose. This weakens the impact of hitting the ground as well as eliminating the threat of turf burn.

Wide Receivers

The only other position that tends to wear tape on their arms is wide receivers. Wearing tape on your arms at this position is fairly rare but still happens from time to time.

Wide receivers do not get tackled nearly as frequently as running backs but it still happens several times a game.

Similar to running backs receivers will often hit the turf with their elbows first. By wearing this tape they can protect both their elbows and forearms from getting burned by the turf.

If you want to learn more about equipment that NFL players use see our guides to neck rolls in football or if football players wear jocks.

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