Football Players Wear Tape On Their Arms During Games — This May Be Why

Depending on how familiar you are with the rules of football, you may have many questions while watching Super Bowl LVIII, from, "How much are these NFL cheerleaders being paid, anyway?" to, "Why are some football players wearing tap on their arms?"

Regarding the latter query, you may spot receivers, linebackers, and running backs wearing tape from the back of the triceps down to the bottom of the wrist for a very good reason: because the players are trying to avoid turf burns.

It's a specific type of tape called kinesiology tape, or "turf tape," and it helps players avoid scrapes when they are tackled, drive, or hit the turf for any reason. Typically, it's used to prevent and treat musculoskeletal injuries because the elasticity keeps muscles in their natural position. "It provides a therapeutic benefit by relieving pressure on irritated tissues," Jaclyn Smulofsky, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at HSS, told POPSUGAR for a previous article. "It facilitates underactive muscles and inhibits overactive muscles while providing information to the skin to reduce sensitivity to pain."

But the adhesive also acts as a protective layer of skin and helps players avoid getting scraped up by the hard surface of the field.

Artificial turf has been used on football fields in recent years instead of natural grass, but it is rougher in texture and can cause burn marks that are at risk for infection if exposed to sweat and bacteria. For last year's Super Bowl, NFL's field surface experts said they spent $800,000 on grass that was grown at a local sod farm in Phoenix.

Fake or real grass, a little protection goes a long way.