Why Do Football Players Tape Their Fingers

If you are an avid football fan you have likely noticed that many football players tape their fingers for games. Though this is a fairly common occurrence many fans do not know why this process is done. Luckily this article is on hand to break down why football players tape their fingers.

Injury Prevention

The most common reason that football players tape their fingers together is for injury prevention. A player that is taping his fingers for injury prevention is likely going to have wrapped the tape around each joint on their fingers.

The reasoning for this is simple, these players do not want to bend, jam, or dislocate these joints during the play.

The vast majority of players that tape their hands are offensive and defensive lineman. These players are some of the few positions on the field that don’t wear gloves. These linemen are considered the strongest players on the field and often times it is their hands that are taking the brunt of the impact.

Though the power of these players comes from their legs and core it is often the hands that are the contact point between the two players.

This of course puts a ton of pressure on the finger joints. A jammed or sprained finger is going to make each and every rep painful for a lineman. It is for this reason each of their fingers is often taped.

The tape works as an additional barrier to ensure that finger is not bent too far in the wrong direction. We can’t tell you have effective this tape is, but judging by the number of NFL players that use it we think it does a pretty good job.

Taping For Injury Recovery

Taping fingers for injury recovery is something that even non-football players do. One of the most common ways to stabilize an injured finger is by taping it to the finger beside it. This allows the finger to stay in the proper position without having to put on a cast or anything of that nature.

This is again a very common tape job done for offensive lineman and defensive lineman. Though when players in positions that don’t typically tape their finger get injured they can sometimes utilize this method.

This typically means these players will play without a glove on their injured and hand and simply have a splint and some tape.

In extreme situations, you may see players come out with a “club” on their hand. This is a more extreme example than tape and is typically only done when a player injures his wrist or hand.

These clubs are made out of tensor bandage. And will not allow the player to have any use of his fingers on the injured hand. This makes it difficult for the player to be at his best but will allow him to return from injury sooner.

Improved Grip

Prior to the advancements in football love technology, tape used to be a way to improve grip on the ball. If you look at pictures of retro football players you will notice many of the wide receivers and running backs have tape on their fingers.

This is because these players used this tape to get a better grip when attempting to catch the ball. Nowadays football gloves are far superior to tape which is why you do not see receivers doing this anymore.

Style, Drip, Etc…

The final reason football players tend to wear tape on their fingers is for the looks. It should not be news that football players like to add accessories to their football equipment. Whether it’s visors, arm bands, or custom cleats football players like to look good on the field.

Taping the fingers can be seen as a way to accessories on the field. And as the great Deion Sanders once said “you look good you feel good you play good”.

What Do Players Do If Tape Isn’t Enough?

Taping your fingers as a football player can help to protect your hands from injuries but it isn’t always enough. When a player has a broken or dislocated finger he is going to need more than tape to keep it from being reinjured.


Splints are one way in which players are able to help protect themselves. A splint uses another finger as a brace to keep the injured finger supported.

A splint will keep the injured finger in place making sure the player does not reinjure himself.

Splints are used when a player injures a single finger and needs more than tape to support it.


Another way in which a player may protect his hands and fingers from injury is by using a club. A club in football is used when a player has a serious hand or finger injury yet plays at a position in which they do not necessarily use their fingers.

Players such as defensive ends and cornerbacks can use clubs and still play their position effectively.

The club features a large tensor bandage wrapped around a players hand to the point that their fingers are indistinguishable. Instead, the player’s hand is going to resemble the shape of the club meaning he will have no use of fingers on that hand.

Concluding Thoughts

We hope this article cleared up everything you may have been wondering about why football players tape their fingers. If you have any more questions regarding this topic please be sure to reach out via our contact us page.

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