NFL Bans Lower-Performing Helmets, Impacts 'About 200 Players'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2018

Miami Dolphins helmets are placed near the benches during the second half of an NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

The NFL has taken another step toward improving player safety by prohibiting the use of lower-performing helmets.

According to Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated, six types of helmets will be banned immediately for 2018 while four more will only be allowed to be used by players who wore them last season. Per Vrentas, about 200 players wore one of the 10 prohibited helmets in 2017.

The restrictions are based on the results of a test of 34 helmet models completed in a joint effort by the NFL and NFLPA, per an official release.

Although players had previously been able to choose any helmet that passed National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) certification standards, the league is now restricting their options.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network provided a full breakdown of the results of the test, including the 17 helmets that were considered top performers:

The top two picks on the list were created by Vicis, a relatively new competitor in the market.

Per Pelissero, this is the first time helmet models have been restricted, and the phase-out of those prohibited should be complete by 2019.

The NFL has worked to improve player safety with a variety of rules, most recently adopting a targeting rule that prevents players from lowering their heads on hits. However, utilizing the best equipment could potentially be an even bigger step to help players going forward.

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