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Daniel Thomas returns from second concussion with oversized helmet

Steve Wallace Getty Images

As Reggie Bush aims for the NFL rushing title, one factor working in his favor is the sudden rash of concussions experienced by second-year tailback Daniel Thomas.

Thomas has had two concussions this year.  Given that he plays a position that will expose him to as much contact as a giant magnet in an anvil factory, there could be more.

According to Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald, Thomas will be taking extra precautions as he returns to practice following his most recent brain injury.  Per Beasley, Thomas will wear an oversized helmet aimed at minimizing brain trauma.

The specific mechanism has yet to be identified.  In past years, players like Mark Kelso and Steve Wallace (pictured) wore foam caps over their helmets.  This extra padding, which attaches to the outside of the helmet, provides further cushion against impact from other helmets or knees.

Most players avoid such devices because of their appearance.  Moreover, no amount of padding on the inside or outside of a helmet will alter the impact a brain makes against the inside of the skull when the head suddenly stops moving.

Predictably, Thomas says he’s not concerned about the long-term risks of concussions.  Few current football players are.  Few former football players, however, aren’t.  And that’s the delicate balance the NFL is now trying to strike, as it protects current players against themselves in the hopes of protecting the NFL against the former players they’ll inevitably become.

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48 Responses to “Daniel Thomas returns from second concussion with oversized helmet”
  1. buffalobills2012 says: Oct 17, 2012 8:47 AM

    how is mark kelso, the most notable oversize helmet user ever!!, not the pic for this post??

  2. realnflmaster says: Oct 17, 2012 8:56 AM

    LOL! Typical soft miami player. If he was a JET, he would go out there without a helmet if he had to like legends such as Namath, Martin, Revis and Harris would do.

  3. exhelodrvr says: Oct 17, 2012 9:01 AM

    “Moreover, no amount of padding on the inside or outside of a helmet will alter the impact a brain makes against the inside of the skull when the head suddenly stops moving.”

    It will help – the extra padding will the deceleration more gradual (i.e. when two helmets impact straight on, or when someone’s head hits the ground). It will also absorb some of the force that is applied to the head, thus decreasing the acceleration (i.e. when the helmet is hit from the side). If the initial acceleration is less, then the eventual deceleration will also be less.

    Eventually, they will probably have all helmets with extra padding.

  4. mrcogburn says: Oct 17, 2012 9:04 AM

    Hang it up Daniel. It’s not worth being unable to recognize your grandchildren. It’s just a game, bro.

  5. waitingguilty says: Oct 17, 2012 9:10 AM

    Could someone please ship one of these to Peyton Manning?

  6. 69finfan says: Oct 17, 2012 9:13 AM

    Typical comment by a soft Yets Fan!

  7. blackbug99 says: Oct 17, 2012 9:14 AM

    Yep, it’s all “take one for the team, now.” When they retire, and then get the symptoms is when they start suing.

  8. ek2213 says: Oct 17, 2012 9:16 AM

    “LOL! Typical soft miami player. If he was a JET, he would go out there without a helmet if he had to like legends such as Namath, Martin, Revis and Harris would do.”

    Is this a serious response? Get this guy an over-sized helmet.

  9. 8drinkminimum says: Oct 17, 2012 9:17 AM

    @realnflmaster.

    Bud do you ever notice that your comments elicit a ton more thumbs down than up no matter what the subject is?

    Time to change to realnflloser.

  10. gobirds11 says: Oct 17, 2012 9:20 AM

    gazoo…

  11. daaabears says: Oct 17, 2012 9:22 AM

    Looks aside. If you had one centimeter of padding, or one yard of padding to protect your head before a collision, which would you choose?

  12. jimdolfan says: Oct 17, 2012 9:24 AM

    @realnflmaster

    I have wanted to punch you in the face since the first time I read one of your idiotic comments :-) Do you ever say anything intelligent? I guess you are consistent, if nothing else.

  13. djmcba says: Oct 17, 2012 9:32 AM

    Reminds me of the big heads cheat in old NIL Blitz games.

    Go Fins.

  14. joetoronto says: Oct 17, 2012 9:43 AM

    How obvious can it be that realnflmaster is joking?

    I mean, really?

  15. daaabears says: Oct 17, 2012 9:45 AM

    ek2213 says:
    Is this a serious response? Get this guy an over-sized helmet.
    =================
    Too late.

  16. vaphinfan says: Oct 17, 2012 9:50 AM

    Any guesses on his next injury that will keep him out? This guy is always hurt.

  17. fishyinalittledishy says: Oct 17, 2012 10:01 AM

    “LOL! Typical soft miami player. If he was a JET, he would go out there without a helmet if he had to like legends such as Namath, Martin, Revis and Harris would do.”

    Is this a serious response? Get this guy an over-sized helmet.

    No an under size helmet the size of a pea like all not yet fans

  18. Mike Florio says: Oct 17, 2012 10:05 AM

    I’m talking specifically about sudden stops and starts of the body. Some guys get concussions without even being hit in the head because they are moving in one direction at a high rate of speed and then are hit abruptly in the other direction. The brain keeps moving in the original direction and bounces violently off the inside of the skull.

  19. SparkyGump says: Oct 17, 2012 10:13 AM

    From what I’ve heard from “experts”, the padding should be on the outside as well as the inside of the helmet. The problem here is the “evolution” of players. They’re bigger, faster and stronger and we have to evolve protection for their brains from the impacts to their brain cases which haven’t caught up to the impacts these players endure. We’ll all get used to larger helmets after awhile so let’s support protecting our heros any way we can.

  20. Reggie's Bush says: Oct 17, 2012 10:26 AM

    In related news, Goodell plans to fine Thomas for uniform rules…

  21. hehateme2 says: Oct 17, 2012 10:31 AM

    Since Revis was taken out in Miami by the turf alone… I would hardly consider him anything other than kleenex.

  22. notwerk says: Oct 17, 2012 10:43 AM

    Yeah, I’d rather see this guy just sit at least an extra week (after the bye) and recover. He’s been really injury prone throughout his short career, and brain injuries are too serious to mess with. He came back too soon from the first concussion and two in one season is a very, very bad thing.

    There’s no reason to rush back. Miller has played well in relief and I think we really need to see what we have in Miller with Reggie’s contract expiring. I’d rather see Miller get some more time on the field than risk having Daniel Thomas take another concussion.

    If you take three in a season, I think it’s time to hang it up.

  23. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 17, 2012 10:48 AM

    I don’t understand what the problem is Roger Goodell already solved the league’s problems when he made the New Orleans franchise pay for the sins of the NFL from the last half century.
    If guys are still getting hurt then what’s the deal?
    I mean come on, bounties are out!
    Good job Roger!

  24. 1uniquename says: Oct 17, 2012 11:01 AM

    I may be wrong but the way I understand it is if your Skull and therefor your brain is moving at 20 miles an hour, regardless of padding around it and it comes to a dead stop your brain will jiggle around inside your skull wether you have lots of padding or not. Now it may lessen the force your head actually hits the wall, but your brain no matter what is going to move inside your head and therefor there really is no protection against concussions.

  25. tshirttom says: Oct 17, 2012 11:15 AM

    I hope Javid Best wears something like this when he returns to action.

  26. armoderate says: Oct 17, 2012 11:24 AM

    Perhaps the oversize helmet contains an airbag.

  27. aljack88 says: Oct 17, 2012 11:24 AM

    Jahvid Best must really be messed up. He hasn’t suited up in over 1 year now and still is not allowed to play while Thomas has had 2 in 4 games and is ready to trot unto the field.

  28. thelastpieceofcheese says: Oct 17, 2012 11:36 AM

    A pumpkin headed player just before Halloween

  29. joecool16280 says: Oct 17, 2012 11:39 AM

    Wow, we used to call that the concussion cap back in the day. Hope Wallace is doing okay, he was a solid player.

  30. steviep23 says: Oct 17, 2012 11:51 AM

    Maybe we should start putting padding inside the players heads.

  31. gripless says: Oct 17, 2012 12:03 PM

    Why doesn’t the NFL have the players sign a waiver releasing them from any liability. Simple process that takes all the blame game away

  32. smackingfools says: Oct 17, 2012 12:14 PM

    Last I heard, Revis is done for the season.

  33. smackingfools says: Oct 17, 2012 12:17 PM

    Anybody ever held an NFl helmet? Haven’t weighed one but they gotta be at least 10 lbs. maybe make the helmet more lightweight would help.

  34. denverscott says: Oct 17, 2012 12:41 PM

    1uniquename says: Oct 17, 2012 11:01 AM

    I may be wrong but the way I understand it is if your Skull and therefor your brain is moving at 20 miles an hour, regardless of padding around it and it comes to a dead stop your brain will jiggle around inside your skull wether you have lots of padding or not. Now it may lessen the force your head actually hits the wall, but your brain no matter what is going to move inside your head and therefor there really is no protection against concussions.
    =—————————————————–

    Padding does the same things as soft fences in Nascar and Indy. It lengthens the time of the energy dissipation thereby lowering the peak G’s that are ultimately transferred to the object being protected. The longer it takes to dissipate the energy the better.

  35. baloneyjohn says: Oct 17, 2012 12:51 PM

    Not smart. I wouldn’t think this eases the brain moving around. This guy is crazy. If the NFL has a retire early because of injury, this guy would be the poster child.

  36. raymondtx says: Oct 17, 2012 12:52 PM

    Why stop at two helmets? Put three on his head piggyback style.

  37. wjarboe says: Oct 17, 2012 12:58 PM

    If this reduces the likelihood of concussion, why aren’t all players wearing this?!

  38. jetfanfolife says: Oct 17, 2012 1:06 PM

    uh if an oversize helmet works to avoid concussions why aren’t ALL the players wearing them?

  39. steve3211 says: Oct 17, 2012 1:36 PM

    Both Kelso and Wallace suffered multiple concussions before wearing these soft shell pads. Both have stated that they helped enormously and that neither suffered further concussions after they started using them. Can’t see why the nfl does not make these mandatory. Cheap and effective. What is worse two hard shell helmets with the shock wave that occurs when they crash together or two soft shell helmets when they crash together and the energy dissipitation that takes place. They should be on every player.

  40. thetooloftools says: Oct 17, 2012 1:40 PM

    Why this helmet isn’t used by way more NFL players just defies logic.

  41. mjkelly77 says: Oct 17, 2012 2:40 PM

    Daniel Thomas returns from second concussion with oversized helmet
    ____________________

    Doesn’t manning wear an oversized helmet? You know it’s not because of concussions, though.

  42. bruiza2k says: Oct 17, 2012 2:59 PM

    One player gets a special helmet and all of a sudden he gets a big head, amirite?

  43. nyfcat says: Oct 17, 2012 3:11 PM

    Why don’t they just give players oversized helmets from the beginning? Oh… NOW you have a concussion? Lets give you the helmet that REALLY prevents concussions instead of the garbage helmet you were using before.

  44. mjkelly77 says: Oct 17, 2012 3:15 PM

    tshirttom says:Oct 17, 2012 11:15 AM

    I hope Javid Best wears something like this when he returns to action.
    _________________

    Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever see Jahvid Best play again. I think the Lions knew he was done some time ago. He’s being paid and kept around because of the generosity and beneficence of Mr. Ford. This will qualify him for an NFL pension.

  45. dexterismyhero says: Oct 17, 2012 3:18 PM

    @smackingfools.

    the helmets are no where near 10 lbs. I would guess 4-6….

  46. wcdunkenfield says: Oct 17, 2012 3:20 PM

    If this reduces the likelihood of concussion, why aren’t all players wearing this?!

    —–

    For the same reason that NHL players resisted them for so long, and why the goalies never wore masks.

    Nobody wants to appear “soft” in the manly sport of the NFL.

    My thinking is that these will be mandated (or something similar) within a year or two.

    It’s likely the League will have to be able to point to requiring the most beneficial protection that is recognized by outside experts as preventing concussions, in order avoid or minimize liability.

  47. yeahhhhbuddy says: Oct 17, 2012 4:03 PM

    I don’t see the NFL mandating anything. They are under too much scrutiny already and won’t take on that liability. However, I do see that there are proven soft-sided helmet covers out there that are proving that they are effective at reducing the forces and impacts – ProCap and Guardian Cap. For the youth, it should be mandated because if players keep getting many concussions early in their playing careers, they will never make it to college or pros. Colorado University dropped a player (redshirt freshman) this year for having three concussions.

  48. blahblahblah1313 says: Oct 17, 2012 4:04 PM

    And just like other protective eqpt. like knee/hip/thigh pads the NFLPA will not let management mandate them. Can’t give anything away as a bargaining chip unless you get more money. Even if it is for your own protection. Greedy idiots…

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