One of the outstanding issues regarding the start of training camp and the 2020 season is whether players will be required to wear face shields on their helmets.
Oakley developed the shields, which cover the area over the nose and mouth and have holes to allow for breathing, as a way to limit the spread of droplets that could contain COVID-19. The league wanted them to be mandatory, but it does not appear that’s how things will play out after talks with the NFLPA.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that the expectation is that use of the shields will be recommended, but that they will not be required once players get on the field. All 32 teams will have the shields on hand for players to use or test out once they report to training camp.
The prospect of wearing the shields have drawn a variety of responses around the league. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt suggested he wouldn’t play if they were required, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett questioned their effectiveness and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been working out with one so he could get used to it.
Wilson was doing that to be ready if they were required additions to helmets this season, but it looks like he won’t have to continue that effort.