Understanding Why Football Players Tape Their Fingers


Football players line up waiting for ball to be snapped.

Injuries are bound to happen by playing football no matter the precautions taken. With that said, players can significantly reduce the likelihood that they get injured in a number of ways. One of these ways is for players to tape their fingers.

Why do football players tape their fingers?

Football players tape their fingers because doing so provides additional support and prevents their fingers from being hyper-extended. Prevention is the main reason football players tape their fingers but the practice can also help players come back from injuries quicker than normal.

Many positions in football benefit from taping their fingers but it’s not needed for some positions. To find out why each position tapes their fingers and how they do so, we encourage you to read the rest of this article.

Taping Fingers for Additional Support in Football

The main reason football players tape their fingers is to provide additional support for them. Additional support in the form of tape can be the determining factor if a finger gets sprained, dislocated or breaks.

Taping fingers can reduce the likelihood these injuries happen by reducing the range of motion of the taped fingers. This makes it less likely a finger bends unnaturally.

Another reason taping fingers is so popular amongst football players is because there are few drawbacks to the practice.

Sure, taped fingers may not bend as far as non-taped fingers, but the additional support is much more important than the slightly decreased range of motion.

Properly taped fingers also operate normally because the joints aren’t hindered in any way.

Football players do have to be careful about how tight they tape their fingers. If they tape their fingers too tight, they run the risk of cutting off circulation.

On the other hand, if the tape is too loose, the amount of support it offers will be minimal. Depending on the player, they might apply only one or multiple layers of tape.

Finger Taping Based on Football Position

Football player with football runs.

Many different positions in football benefit by taping their fingers. Of all the positions, linemen need the additional support that comes from taping their fingers the most.

This is because the position is exceedingly violent and involves very strong and heavy men running into one another. If a finger of a linemen were to get caught in the gear of another player, the risk of hyper-extending a finger is high.

This also holds true when the ball is snapped each play because there are only a few things more violent in football than the linemen initially running into one another on every play.

These players are setting themselves up for failure if they decide not to tape their fingers. Linemen also tape their fingers because the nature of their job involves falling to the ground from time-to-time.

Whether they get tripped up or are thrown to the ground is inconsequential.

This is because humans have a natural instinct to stick their hands out to soften their falls. When this happens, there’s a much greater chance of an injury occurring.

The risk of injury is further exacerbated by how much linemen weigh. Bad things are bound to happen if someone weighing 250lbs+ falls on you.

Wide receivers also benefit by taping their fingers due to the velocity balls are thrown at them. Some tape can go a long way to prevent a finger from being bent unnaturally when trying to catch a pass.

The additional support from taping also benefits wide receivers when they’re tackled. In the process of getting tackled a lot can happen and not everything is controlled by the wideouts.

While getting tackled, a receiver may land funny or have someone else land on them, leaving themselves open to injury.

Defensive players also benefit greatly by taping their fingers because they’re the players initiating tackles. During a tackle, multiple things can go wrong.

The player initiating the tackle can jam a finger, get their fingers caught in the gear of an offensive player or land awkwardly like any other position.

While tape can’t prevent these things from happening, it can prevent the severity of bad outcomes. There are a lot of factors that can’t be controlled in football and taping fingers is a way to reduce the severity of less than ideal outcomes.

Using Tape to Help Recover from Injuries

The use of tape on fingers can help athletes come back from injuries quicker than they normally would. Taping fingers provides additional support by reducing the odds that they get hyper-extended.

Knowing that the risk of injury is significantly reduced by using tape, football players can come back without being 100 percent.

Finger tape shouldn’t be used if there’s a fracture or ligament tear involved with the injury. Players should always consult medical professionals if there’s any doubt in their minds if they should tape their fingers.

This isn’t a problem for professional teams as there are always doctors and trainers on staff.

Using Tape to Prevent Injuries and Aid Recovery

There are multiple ways for players to tape their fingers to provide extra support, to help prevent injuries from taking place and to expedite the recovery process.

You can do one pass around the injured finger in one or more places or you can tape an injured finger to another finger to help support it.

This is called buddy taping and the purpose of it is to keep an injured finger in a natural position to heal, while restricting the movement of it.

There are also check reins, which involve taping two fingers together as they are spread apart. This offers the fingers additional support, without completely sacrificing mobility. This is how you can perform the tapes:

Related Articles

Steven G.

My name is Steven and I love everything sports! I created this website to share my passion with all of you. Enjoy!

Recent Posts