Player safety has been at the forefront of the NFL‘s agenda ever since chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, came into the limelight.
That sensitive topic became the focal point of the 2015 movie “Concussion” starring Will Smith.
That’s why the league already outlaws helmet-to-helmet hits and puts players on concussion protocol if needed.
Likewise, they are finding more ways to make football a safer sport.
One way of doing so is to require players in high-impact positions like linemen, linebackers, and tight ends to wear guardian caps during training camp.
These caps are soft-shell, padded covering that goes outside the helmet.
Aside from serving as a guardian for the player’s head, these caps are also produced by Guardian Sports, hence the name.
Guardian caps are like an airbag because they absorb the impact on a player’s brain during a collision.
The league claims that two players wearing the cap will reduce the impact of collision by 20 percent.
Meanwhile, NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport shared more encouraging details about guardian caps usage.
NFL exec Jeff Miller, on a conference call, says the early data for the guardian caps worn during camp was promising. Through week 2 of preseason games, concussions were cut in half (23 to 11) for those positions affected — mandated to wear caps. Some good news.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 14, 2022
Rapoport tweeted, “NFL exec Jeff Miller, on a conference call, says the early data for the guardian caps worn during camp was promising. Through week 2 of preseason games, concussions were cut in half (23 to 11) for those positions affected — mandated to wear caps. Some good news.”
Guardian Caps During Games?
The next phase of its implementation is for guardian caps to be worn during games.
However, that measure may get much pushback from players and coaches alike.
Therefore, it’s hard to see it being used during the regular season.
But as the league moves to protect its players better, the time might come when the helmets are equipped with protective padding that works like guardian caps.