The NFL will not be adding another concussion to its concussion protocol
NFL players will not need to wear a helmet in the coming season as the league announced Friday that it would not be requiring them to do so.
Instead, they will be required to wear face masks that will be available at all team stores starting this season.
The league said the face masks will be made of a “neutral material” and will come in three sizes: one for players who have played in six games or fewer and one for those who have not.
Players will be allowed to choose which mask they want to wear, the league said.
“The NFL is committed to improving the safety of our players and to protecting the health and well-being of our fans and our community,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said in a statement.
“The decision to move forward with this change reflects the overwhelming scientific consensus that helmets provide a much better barrier to injury and reduce the risk of concussion.”
The NFL said the change is meant to reduce the number of players who suffer a concussion after a helmet-related incident and will allow teams to “determine when to stop wearing helmets.”
The league did not specify when or how many players who suffered a concussion this season would be required, but Lockhart confirmed that teams would be able to have “several” players per game wearing helmets.
Last year, the NFL began requiring players to wear headgear after the emergence of the use of synthetic fibers.
In addition to the new rule, Lockhart did not rule out other changes the league may take in the future.
This season, the Dallas Cowboys, who have the most concussion cases in the league, have agreed to allow players to use an off-field helmet.