NFL

‘Guardian Caps’, NFL’s Most Recent Attempt At Preventing Head Injuries

Aug 6, 2022, 3:56 PM | Updated: Aug 7, 2022, 12:18 am

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HENDERSON, NEVADA - AUGUST 01: Tight ends Jesper Horsted #80 and Nick Bowers #82 of the Las Vegas Raiders wear Guardian Caps as they practice during training camp at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on August 01, 2022 in Henderson, Nevada.

SALT LAKE CITY – As NFL and college football camps open across the U.S., fans have been asking about the large, padded caps being worn over helmets.

Known as ‘Guardians Caps’ in reference to Guardian, the company responsible for the creation of the oversized, mushroom-shaped foam helmets that wraparound the standard helmet. The NFL has mandated use of the cap for offensive & defensive lineman, linebackers and tight ends during training camp until the second preseason game.

“Wearing the Guardian Cap will help protect players in these position groups with the most head impacts,” an NFL issued tweet said while explaining the effectiveness of the caps.

Locally, the University of Utah has been using the caps in their fall camp.

With player safety, specifically brain injuries, taking the forefront in conversations about the sports sustainability in recent years, the NFL funded some of the testing.

“The guardian cap helps reduce impact up to 10 percent with one player is wearing it. Up to 20 percent reduction in head impacts if both players are wearing the Guardian Cap.”

Though skepticism from players and coaches remains about the effectiveness of the new safety addition, the league has no plans to scrap the idea.

Five-time All-Pro defensive lineman JJ Watt was critical of the headgears use in practice but not in games. “But not in the games. So let’s keep it safe sometimes. I don’t know, whatever,” Watt said following an Arizona Cardinals practice.

New York Jets head coach Mo Saleh also voiced concerns about the inconsistent use of the caps.

“I do think because of the soft blow, it’s kind of lending the players to use their heads a little bit more. Anybody who has played football knows the first time you take your helmet off or you hit with the helmet or you have a collision, there’s a shock. I do think that if you’re waiting until the first game for that shock to happen … I don’t know, time will tell. It’s just interesting with those Guardian Caps and what exactly are we trying to accomplish.”

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‘Guardian Caps’, NFL’s Most Recent Attempt At Preventing Head Injuries