NFL health and safety officials recommend expanded use of Guardian Caps

Las Vegas Raiders Training Camp
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When the NFL released injury information from the 2022 season, it showed that the number of concussions in the preseason were down and one of the reasons cited for that drop was the use of Guardian Caps during training camp practices.

The caps were worn over helmets by offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, and tight ends through the second preseason game and the league said those groups realized a 52 percent drop in concussions over the same time period from 2021. The 2023 season could see a broader use of the caps.

NFL executive vice president Jeff Miller said on Monday, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post, that the league’s health and safety officials are recommending expanded use of Guardian Caps. The expansion would be in the groups of players who wear them as well as to the amount of time that they are worn during practice sessions.

Some players and coaches have expressed negative views of the Guardian Caps, but it does not look like they will be going away anytime in the future.

23 responses to “NFL health and safety officials recommend expanded use of Guardian Caps

  1. When this league inevitably becomes flag football, will the players still be wrapped in bubble wrap? Or will they be able to just wear sweats like every other human that plays flag football….

  2. The thing is sometimes when you’ve got extra protection on, you tend to get more reckless.

  3. I can’t understand players that do not want to be safer on the field?!?!

    They are heavy and uncofortable for one. they don’t allow you to simulate the game. The biggest reason is this lower concussion rate is probably as off as the hospitalization rate of Covid patients. They do almost no hitting in practices anymore. You get like 14 padded practices for a season now. No two a day practices. So of course concussions are down.

    Do they help at all sure probably, but if you could take all that affects into account it’s probably less than like 5% reduction in concussions.

  4. Pretty sure these will become the norm for all practices and games eventually. They’re ugly as sin, but if the numbers keep proving that they’re effective, it’s inevitable.

  5. They don’t help with actual brain safety. The brain still moves inside the skull. If they do actually help, I would love to see the studies. It may help change behaviors but that is the extent of what they accomplish.

  6. My nephew is playing in a HS 7 on 7 spring league and the rules mandate every player wears one. Looks goofy, but apparently they haven’t had a single concussion diagnosed this year.

  7. From there website. “No, Guardian Caps do not reduce or prevent concussions and have never claimed to do so. No helmet, practice apparatus, or helmet pad can prevent or eliminate the risk of concussions or other serious head injuries while playing sports. Researchers have not reached an agreement on how the results of impact absorption tests relate to concussions. No conclusions about a reduction of risk or severity of concussive injury should be drawn from impact absorption tests. Guardian has always stood by the fact that Guardian Caps reduce the impact of hits and that its use should be one piece of the puzzle to an overall safety strategy to reduce contact.”

  8. If the data is accurate, why wouldn’t you make it available to players? You don’t have to make it mandatory, but give those that want to use them the continued opportunity to do so.

  9. A 52% drop?! Why on earth would they not figure out a way to use them during the season?

  10. The “Alpha Dog” look of a “manly” man in full armour!
    Or, the “dorky” cap that could save their life.

  11. If they truly reduce concussions by 52%, the NFLPA should demand players have the option to use these helmets in regular season games, at least for players with concussion histories or anyone who wants to wear one.

  12. There has to be a way to make them look more aesthetically appealing. It will never gain adoption if they don’t. We have the NBA free throw as an example. It’s significantly better to shoot free throws underhanded. Never was adopted because it looks bad aesthetically.

  13. Pretty big helmets. Players will be able to lower their heads and use it as a weapon, like every other helmet ever, with minimal risk to them. The other guy? Not so much maybe.

  14. As far as “ugly”: Those are the basic caps. They surely would come up with a lightweight wrap to create a smooth surface that better displays team logos.

  15. I am paying good money to see the strongest, most beautiful athletes in the world beat the living crap out of each other each Sunday. It’s war, not tiddlywinks. The NFL has become one big love-in. What’s next, emotional support counselors on the sidelines? I don’t want my team looking like Jack-In-The-Box running around with gigantic heads every Sunday…

  16. Why do they wear hard plastic helmets under the padding at all?

    Get tid of all hard plastic armor and replace it with thick soft padding – game imediatly becomes safer.

  17. I hope Tua will give the Guardian Cap a chance. He isn’t on my team but I want his health protected.

  18. Speaking as someone who watched the players wearing these for all of Training Camp in 2022, there has GOT to be a way to make safer helmets that look like a football helmet, not some doofus add-on gimmick.

  19. The guardian cap does nothing, but make you look stupid. These will never prevent concussions because concussions are caused by your brain hitting the inside of your skull and you CAN NOT stop that from happening

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