As all levels of football try to deal with the realities of head injuries, a new device could reduce concussions that happen during practice.
The Guardian is a cap that attaches to the outside of the helmet, with extra padding that reduces the intensity of helmet impacts.
Designed only for practice (for now), where the manufacturer contends 90 percent of concussions occur, the Guardian pops off upon a major collision, providing objective warning that the player who was wearing it needs to be checked for a possible concussion.
“The college and pro teams are not the targets right now,” Guardian sales rep Steve Cook said, via the Colfax (Cal.) Record. “We want to start with the youth, to have more protection from potential concussions. There are former football players saying they don’t want their kids to play, but I think something like this can help protect them.”
The company manufactured 200,000 units. Already, 53,000 have been sold.
The bigger question is whether these types of external devices should be used in games. Far less aesthetically pleasing than the shiny, hard-shell helmet, look for fans and players to resist game use of these devices. Hopefully, common sense will in time prevail — especially at the youth and high school levels of the sport.