Screenshot/WCPO 9 X

On Friday, the NFL announced that players could wear protective soft-shell helmet covers during games next season.

Only if the players choose. The covers are called Guardian caps, normally worn during practice to provide additional protection against concussions and head injuries.

‘These Developments Represent Substantial Progress’

Fans noticed the Guardian caps make their first appearance a few years ago. Now, defensive backs and receivers have also joined the position groups that require players to wear the caps during practice.

Since 2022, the NFL has mandated the caps’ use at practices for some players, depending on their positions.

The only remaining position groups not required to wear them during practice are quarterbacks, kickers, and punters.

No players will be made to wear the caps during games, but now they have that option if they wish to do so.

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said during a recent webinar discussion that “We’ve got two years of data now showing significant concussion reductions in those players that wear Guardian Caps in the NFL.”

NFL executive vice president of health and safety Jeff Miller said in an interview, “We now have two years of data showing significant concussion reductions among players who wear Guardian Caps during practice so players will be permitted to wear the cap during games this upcoming season.”

“Additionally, there are new helmets this year that provide as much — if not more — protection than a different helmet model paired with a Guardian Cap,” Miller added. “These developments represent substantial progress in our efforts to make the game safer for players.”

Less Concussions?

The cap will absorb at least 10% of the force during a hit to the helmet, allegeldy. That doubles to 20% if both players involved in the hit are using the caps.

The league said concussions reached a seven-year low during training camp last year according to NFL data.

Guardian Sports, based in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is the company that produces the caps.

If concussions have dropped to a seven-year low due to some players using these covers, perhaps now giving all players the option to use them during games will bring that number even lower.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: