NFL Covid Helmets : The NFL has revealed possible designs for helmets meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the 2020 season.
The 2020 NFL season is just around the corner. It will perhaps prove to be the toughest sport to bring back in a COVID-19 world, but the league is determined to try anyways.
It goes without saying that the primary focus for commissioner Roger Goodell will be ensuring safety for the players. One way the league plans on doing this is with special helmets.
In July, Oakley released preliminary designs for their mouth shield created to combat the coronavirus. The idea is that the shield will prevent the direct transmission of droplets from player’s mouths.
A first look at the Oakley Mouth Shield, which is being shipped out to NFL teams this week in hopes of protecting players from COVID-19. https://t.co/ubrwi6iOfr
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) July 13, 2020
Making a COVID-19 Helmet
Oakley, the official supplier of shields and visors for the league, worked closely with doctors and engineers from the NFL. They reportedly sprayed a fluid at the shield in lab experiments, and received largely positive results. However, they are currently unsure how effective it will be when players actually use it.
The chair of the NFL’s engineering committee said, “I don’t know that there’s a direct percentage that anyone’s come up with because a laboratory is not the on-field environment, obviously.”
In a later update, the NFL announced that players would not be required to wear the shields. This came as good news to players like J.J Watt who were concerned about the breathability and visibility of the shields.
Update on the face shields the NFL developed with Oakley to prevent the spread of Covid: The expectation is they will be recommended but NOT required for players, a source informed of talks between the NFL and NFLPA says. The league had been pushing for them to be worn by all. pic.twitter.com/ikar8AmEF0
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 23, 2020
NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer called football “probably the perfect milieu or petri dish in which to transmit the virus.” He makes an excellent point. Football is a contact sport and involves a large number of players. Consequently, there is a greater risk of virus transmission.
It will be important that any possible precautions are taken to prevent an outbreak. The idea of a redesigned helmet would be an extremely innovative way of guaranteeing safety for the players.
However, it looks as though we may never see the COVID helmets in action. There is now less than a month left to go for the 2020 season . So far, teams have not been using the newly designed helmets in training camp and it is unclear if they will use them once the season starts.