There’s a new helmet in town, in pretty much every town that hosts an NFL team.
This year, the Vicis Zero1 will show up throughout the league. On Wednesday night, several Texans wore the $1,500 helmet, which has a flexible outer shell that gives with impact. Those using it included linebacker Brian Cushing, running back Lamar Miller, and linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who along with Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin and Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith serve on the company’s advisory board, recently said he’ll wear the helmet during the preseason.
“It’s good,” Sherman told reporters earlier this week. “They’ve made the necessary adjustments, because last year, it was uncomfortable. It was a lot of pressure on the front of your head and things like that. There was no way you could wear it in the game and hit anybody. They’ve made the necessary adjustments. They’ve made it comfortable. I still haven’t had a chance to bang anybody like I need to, to really feel the changes, the difference between that helmet and the other helmet. But I’m looking forward to that.”
That will happen on Sunday night in L.A., when the Chargers host the Seahawks at the StubHub Center.
While no helmet can prevent all concussions, it’s good to see that companies are working to find ways to make the helmets more effective, without dramatically altering their look. Fans don’t want to see noticeable changes in football, which means that any equipment improvements must find a way to blend with the appearance of the gear that teams have been using since football emerged as the dominant sport in America.