Do Running Backs Wear Flak Jackets

As a running back in football, I understand the physical demands and risks that come with the position. One question that often arises is whether running backs should wear flak jackets for added protection. In this article, I will dive deep into the topic and provide my personal perspective on the matter.

Understanding the Role of a Running Back

Before delving into the question of flak jackets, let’s first understand the role of a running back on the football field. Running backs play a crucial part in the offense, responsible for carrying the ball and gaining crucial yards for their team. They often face intense contact from opposing defenders as they navigate through the line of scrimmage.

The Purpose of Flak Jackets

Flak jackets, also known as padded vests, are designed to provide extra protection to players in contact sports like football. They are typically made of lightweight, flexible materials that absorb and disperse the impact of hits, reducing the risk of injury.

These jackets are commonly worn by players in positions that frequently experience direct hits, such as linebackers and defensive linemen. The padding in flak jackets can help cushion blows to the chest and ribs, which are vulnerable areas for injuries.

The Debate: Do Running Backs Need Flak Jackets?

When it comes to running backs, the decision to wear a flak jacket is a personal one. Some running backs may opt to wear them, while others may choose not to. It ultimately depends on their individual preferences, past injuries, and the level of protection they feel they need.

One argument for running backs wearing flak jackets is the added confidence and peace of mind it can provide. Knowing that they have an extra layer of protection can help them feel more secure when facing defenders head-on. It may also give them the reassurance to take on hits with less fear of injury.

On the other hand, some running backs may find flak jackets restrictive or uncomfortable. These jackets can affect mobility and flexibility, which are crucial for executing quick cuts and jukes to evade defenders. Some running backs may prioritize agility over additional protection, especially if they haven’t had significant injury concerns in the past.

My Personal Perspective

As a running back myself, I have experimented with wearing a flak jacket during my career. I found that while it did provide some extra cushioning, it also restricted my movement to a certain extent. I preferred to rely on my agility and speed rather than sacrificing mobility for added protection.

It’s important to note that every player is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Some running backs may benefit greatly from wearing flak jackets, especially if they have a history of chest or rib injuries. Others may find alternative methods of protection, such as strengthening their core muscles or using other protective gear.


In conclusion, the decision of whether running backs should wear flak jackets is subjective and depends on individual circumstances. While these jackets can provide additional protection, they may also limit mobility and flexibility. Ultimately, it is up to the running back to weigh the benefits and drawbacks and make an informed decision that suits their playing style and personal preferences.