The problem with concussions in American football is nothing new but awareness of the problems have risen vastly in recent years, largely due to a lot of focus on the battle with C.T.E.
C.T.E, a degenerative brain disorder that has caught numerous headlines and even resulted in a Hollywood film starring Will Smith, has led the NFL to battle the issue of concussions head-on; as the disease is linked to repeated blows to the head.
The league has been forced to pay out millions of dollars to former NFL players, who argued that they were not informed of the true dangers of concussions, and it has remained a talking point ever since. Rule changes on the field have helped to make some progress but new developments are needed.
A revolutionary new helmet designed by Seattle-based company VICIS is set to make waves in the NFL and NCAA this season, as Fox News report that 25 of the NFL’s 32 teams have ordered the helmets ahead of the new season, whilst at least 20 college teams could also see their players wearing the new helmet.
Unlike the traditional American Football helmet, which is designed to prevent skull fractures but does not protect the organ within the head itself, the Zero1 is designed specifically to help prevent concussions- and it ranked number 1 on the recent laboratory tests held by the NFL and the NFLPA.
Texans RB Lamar Miller is using new facemask on his VICIS ZERO1, which he switched to during OTA's. He previously wore a Riddell Revo Speed. pic.twitter.com/0HCXZ4SMy7
— Helmet Stalker (@HelmetStalker) August 9, 2017
The Zero1 helmet features four protective layers that are designed to mitigate the forces of collisions or slow them down entirely, resulting in less pressure on the brain. The first layer acts like a car bumper, whilst the third layer protects against skull fractures.
Seattle Seahawks wide-receiver Doug Baldwin is one of many NFL stars that will be wearing the new headgear this season and the player, who works with VICIS, has claimed the helmet will ‘save the game’.
“We take significant hits on the football field. Football is a violent collision sport. A product like this can give you that confidence of safety. It can boost your performance. I think it’s going to save the game.”
Unfortunately, concussions are almost impossible to wipe out from American Football completely but modifications to the game like this will go a long way to improving the safety within the sport and the long-term health of the players.