The NFL announced Thursday that players would be allowed to play when they wear shoulder pads when they are on the field during games.
The move follows similar announcements made by the NBA and MLB, which also said they were considering allowing players to wear shoulder guards during games, with the NBA eventually issuing a similar directive.
But the NFL says it has decided to defer to the league’s medical advisory committee.
The NFL said in a statement that the committee “had recommended a recommendation to not allow players to play while wearing shoulder guards” to “protect their health and prevent injury.”
“This decision was based on the committee’s recommendation that, given the recent injury-related issues with the shoulder, we need to carefully assess whether the players safety is more important than their ability to perform at the level they expect to play at,” the statement read.
Players are allowed to wear protective gear on the sidelines during games to keep them warm, but the league says it does not want to “over-impose” that equipment on players who have already had to wear it.