Why NFL training camp padded practices are so important

2016 NFL football is in full swing with camps underway. Many fans are getting through the grueling month of August in anticipation of the fall air coming through their windows as the games play on tv.

One group of people who don’t want August to go by quickly are NFL coaches. Camps are about their only time to get a necessary component in for their new free agents, rookies and veterans…padded practices. In 2011, padded practices during the regular season were severely restricted leaving only camps as the time for hitting to commence.

Here’s how restrictive¬†it is under¬†the NFLPA labor union agreement under Article 24, Section 1:

During the regular season, padded practices for all players shall be limited to a total of fourteen, eleven of which must be held during the first eleven weeks of the regular season, and three of which must be held during the remaining six weeks of the regular season. The Club may choose the days of the week on which such practices shall be held. Subject to the foregoing rules, each Club may hold two padded practices during the same week during one week of the regular season, provided that such week falls within the first eleven weeks of the regular season.

So during the four months of regular season, players only pad up another 14 times in between game days.

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