The NFL is testing facemasks that could help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Thom Mayer, the NFLPA’s medical director, revealed on Adam Schefter’s podcast Monday that NFL engineers and sports performance company Oakley are testing prototypes of modified facemasks containing surgical or N95 material.
“Back in early March, I had suggested that we should consider novel and emerging ways to handle the helmets and the facemasks and the spread of the virus,” Mayer told Schefter. “And these guys, the bioengineers that we use and that the league uses — Oakley, as you may or may not know, does all the face visors for the league under contract — these guys got the bit between their teeth.”
Mayer expects a recommendation that the players use such masks in 2020. He said it’s possible the new design could cover a player’s entire facemask.
“They’ve got some prototypes; they’re doing really good work,” he said. “Some of them, when you first look at them, you think, ‘Gosh, no’ — ’cause you’re not used to seeing it; you’re just not used to seeing it. But they’re looking at every issue you can imagine, including when it fogs up. What do we do with that? But these guys are used to dealing with this stuff.”
Oakley has designed anti-fog sunglasses for the military, Mayer said.