They probably need to have Rick's group start implementing some kind of protective gear soon. Otherwise, they're going to look stupid when they encounter the Gov's group (who do use protective gear, like the duct tape on the scientist's arms). Rick and them are going to be like, "Duh... why didn't we think of that?" which just draws attention to a narrative hole that the writers have created. Much cleaner, from a narrative sense, to just have them slowly implement the stuff without any real comment. Have one person use a riot shield in one episode. In the next, someone is wearing a padded sleeve when they go into "battle," etc..
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
- H. L. Mencken