September 7, 2023
The NFL is still trying to figure out what to do in the battle against traumatic brain injuries. Researchers continue to develop new helmet technologies that could reduce concussions and reduce the number of players who go on to experience CTE.
The NFL’s Executive Vice President in charge of Player Health and Safety Jeff Miller thinks that we may not be too far away from a major overhaul in helmet design.
Unfortunately, that could mean saying goodbye to the traditional style of facemask we all know and love on football brain buckets.
Miller told The Daily Mail that he thinks helmets may soon have more solid facemasks.
“I presume in the next few years the facemask will change,” Miller said. “Does it have to have bars? Could it be a more motorcycle-type look? All those things are possible.”
Miller went on to say that there could be a solid bar around players’ faces. He said that is because he doesn’t think the current design does its job.
“I don’t think the facemask as currently designed does a great job of mitigating some of the forces to the helmet,” he said. “I would argue it could do much better so I think we’ll start to see something different.”
If the league went the “motorcycle” route it might make sense. Watch a MotoGP race and you’ll see some nasty crashes. Those helmets seem to get the job done.
Miller said that any changes the league decides to make would be made with input from players. However, safety is the top concern.
“Player acceptance and feedback are all important but the driver in any conversation is going to be: what advances the health of the athlete first?’