?The NFL and the league’s players association announced today the results of their annual laboratory study to assess the performance of helmets worn by the league’s players.
The NFL shared a poster with not just players, but also teams’ medical, training, coaching, and equipment staffs in hopes of aiding their equipment choices. The poster, which can be seen here, displayed the results from the testing and experiments.
Note: In the poster, the top-performing helmets are shown in green, with darker green helmets performing better than lighter green helmets, and yellow helmets performing worse than green helmets. The list also shows a list of prohibited helmets; that list remains the same for the 2019 season, as no new helmets were added to the list following the newest round of testing.
The data showed that 77 percent of players were wearing top-performing helmets by the conclusion of the 2018 NFL season.
According to a statement from the NFL, the tests “simulate a subset of concussion-causing impacts sustained by NFL players during games to determine which helmets best reduced head impact severity in those conditions.”
Six of the 11 helmets that were tested this year are among the full list of top 10 models.
Following the distribution of last year’s findings, approximately half of the league’s players chose to upgrade to a better-performing helmet.
Per the league, “the percentage of players wearing helmets in the top-performing (green) category increased by one-third to 74% of all players by the end of the 2018 season. Analysis of on-field game concussions for the 2015-2018 seasons showed that players wearing green helmets had a lower rate of reported concussions than those wearing yellow or red helmets. As of the final week of the 2018 season, only 32 players (less than 2% of total players) remained in one of the prohibited helmets.”
In January, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell announced that, during the 2018-19 season, there were 135 documented concussions recorded. Of course, that is 135 more than the league would hope, but it is worth noting that that number took a significant drop from the 190 concussions that were reported the previous year.
As the league continues to research brain damage, concussions, and other long-lasting injuries in their athletes, they are making a change in the league as they address the safest (and least safe) helmets and types of equipment worn by players.
The NFL and NFLPA announced today’s finding in an official press release, the entirety of which can be viewed here.