NFL, NFLPA Approve Helmet for QBs Designed to Reduce Concussion

The NFL and NFL Players Association have approved a helmet for quarterbacks that is the first for the position specifically designed to reduce concussions,according to the Associated Press' Rob Maaddi

"We've now analyzed with our engineers and with the Players Association more than a 1,000 concussions on field, we have a pretty good database of how these injuries occur,

NFL executive Jeff Miller said to Maaddi. "This helmet performs better in laboratory testing than any helmets we have ever seen for those sorts of impacts."

Maaddi noted Vicis, which manufactured the helmet, already implemented a design for offensive and defensive linemen that was intended to limit concussions.

 Vicis executive Jason Neubauer said the company began working on one for quarterbacks in early 2022.

Quarterbacks won't be required to wear the new helmets, so it's unclear how much they'll actually be put to use on the field.

Ever since the long-term effects of concussions became widely known, the NFL has attempted to find ways to increase player safety and lower the likelihood of head injuries.

That extends to the league's equipment manufacturers, who've been working on technology to achieve those aims. Guardian Caps are one example. 

The league said in September that using the padded caps, which go over the top of helmets, helped reduce concussions by 50 percent when put into use during the 2022 preseason.

Still, the New York Times' Michael Powell laid out in 2019 how even the most advanced helmets may not be able to address one of the underlying issues.

No amount of outer protection can fully prevent the brain from moving around inside of the skull, which is the cause of the trauma in the first place.

Powell also spoke with Dr. Lee Goldstein, a CTE researcher at Boston University, who questioned whether promoting helmets designed to limit concussions could have an unintended consequence.

"My fear is that a better helmet will give false reassurance," Goldstein said. "It's like developing a better cigarette filter. It's smoother and it might not give you a hacking cough. But you still get lung cancer."

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