How NFL Equipment Works

Body Pads

To help protect the ribs, there is hard plastic in the front and back, as well as a flak-jacket extension used by players with a lot of exposure. For players like linemen, special attachments make the pads harder to use as handholds.

The flap that covers the pad edges prevents opposing linemen from getting ahold of the pads.

The interior of a set of shoulder pads is padded with foam. Miles can use Velcro to attach additional pads to build up protection or to take pressure off an injury by bridging over it.

Although the outside of the pads is hard, the side closest to the player's skin is a softer cloth padding.

The shoulder pads are covered by a jersey. Without the pads, the jersey is usually pretty big on players. But the jersey is cut so that when the player suits up with pads, it is tight-fitting.

Below the waist, the players choose pads depending on their position and injuries. A fully suited player would have several types of pads, including hip pads, knee pads and thigh pads. There are several styles of knee and thigh pads for players to choose from.

Hip pads protect players' hip and pelvic bones in hard falls.

Thigh and knee pads are available in several styles and sizes.

These pads are inserted into pockets on the inside of the player's pants prior to suiting up.