Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



The day players don the shoulder, thigh and knee pads brings out a different level of competition among football teams. It doesn't matter what level you played; everyone wants to know when touch football ends, and the gladiator sport begins.

Today, the San Francisco 49ers hold their first padded practice of the 2017 season.

Support this writer and shop Amazon

"I think when the pads come on," linebacker Elvis Dumervil said, "we start really separating the men from the T-shirt guys."

The collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011 allows teams to hold one fully-padded practice per day during training camp. Additionally, players can only be on the field for four hours per day including walkthroughs.

Once the regular season begins, teams may only hold 14 padded practices, with 11 of those held during the first 11 weeks of the season.

Yesterday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he was "very eager" about the padded practice.

"I think everyone is. We've seen enough in OTAs of what our guys can do without pads. That's how it was yesterday and today. Tomorrow's a little bit different. It's really when it starts," said Shanahan.

Fans can watch the padded practice from the comforts of home. The 49ers are broadcasting the first part of today's practice starting at 10:15 a.m. PDT.