Yes, Michael Bennett's odd-looking shoulder pads are abnormally small for a reason. The defensive end who now plays for the Cowboys after being traded by the Patriots earlier this season has explained on multiple occasions why he wears shoulder pads that appear designed for a player roughly 100 pounds lighter.
Bennett is 6-4, 275 pounds. Yet he wears custom-made shoulder pads that resemble equipment a kicker would wear. The reasons, the 34-year-old has said, vary from range of motion to weight to speed.
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Bennett has been wearing kicker-like shoulder pads since his days with the Seahawks. Now in his 11th NFL season, the tiny pads have followed the three-time Pro Bowler through his time in Philadelphia last year and New England earlier this year. On Sunday, Bennett and his small shoulder pads will face the team from which he asked to be traded in October.
Bennett at this point in his career is a rotational defensive lineman for the Cowboys, but he remains an effective player, as his three sacks through three games in Dallas prove. He might argue that has something to do with his unique equipment.