Football Players Wore Tape on Their Arms During the Super Bowl — This May Be Why

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GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Jerick McKinnon #1 of the Kansas City Chiefs after running for a one yard touchdown during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

While many were still talking about Rihanna (and her “announcement”) long after the halftime show wrapped up, others were debating a different question: what was the tape on football players’ arms at Super Bowl LVII?

From the back of the triceps down to the bottom of the wrist, receivers, linebackers, and running backs were spotted with tape on their arms because they were 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. Instead, 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.

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