Bills players cite vision, breathing concerns as reasons they aren’t using face shields

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An additional face shield for football helmets designed by Oakley intended to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the football field appears to have met a lukewarm reception from players across the league.

The Buffalo Bills don’t have any player using the additional attachment for their helmets as the season approaches, according to Jason Wolf of the Buffalo News.

The reasons vary from player to player but they’ve all elected not to use the device. Linebacker Jerry Hughes tried it in the early days of training camp and ditched due to the extra sweat and heat inside the helmet.

“I think I was the first guinea pig,” Hughes said, “and I think the guys watched me during one training camp practice just sweat profusely and just get overheated in that helmet that they were like, ‘No, we’ll stay away from the Covid shield.’”

Visibility was another concern, particularly for long snapper Reid Ferguson who has to look through the lower portion of his facemask while snapping.

“I don’t foresee myself using one just because given my position, every time I’m on the field I’m using the bottom half of my face mask in general to look through, whether I’m looking at the holder or the punter, underneath my legs. So that face mask could potentially create some problems for my vision as I’m snapping. That’s the extent of my feelings on the subject,” Ferguson said.

Several members of the Los Angeles Rams have expressed similar sentiments as to why they don’t intend to use the shields either. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been using it during training camp just to be prepared to use it in case its use becomes mandatory. He doesn’t intend to use it currently.