NFL Tests New Helmet Bars With Surgical Or N95 Material

NFL engineers and Oakley sports equipment company are testing prototypes of modified helmet bars that may contain surgical or N95 material, the NFLPA medical director reported.

Thom Mayer said in the Adam Schefter Podcast that “a recommendation will probably be made” that the NFL use these bars to protect players from the spread of coronavirus when the league begins to play.

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“In early March, I suggested that we should consider new and emerging ways to handle helmets, bars and the spread of the virus,” said Mayer. “The bioengineers we use and those in the Oakley league, who, as you know, all contract visors for the league under contract, these guys have the knife between their teeth.”

Mayer said he was not sure what exactly the modifications would look like, but acknowledged that it is realistic to think that the new designs will cover the helmet bars in their entirety and that the engineers were working on everything such a design might entail.

“(The engineers) already have some prototypes and they are doing a great job. Some of them, when you see them for the first time, you may think, ‘God, no’, because we are not used to seeing them, but the engineers are seeing every topic you can think of, including when the micas get foggy, what do we do with that? These engineers are used to dealing with things like this, “Mayer reiterated.

Oakley has expertise in designing durable lenses that don’t tarnish for military use, said Mayer, who suggested that players who may have high risk factors should be constantly careful to do whatever they can to prevent exposure to the coronavirus.

“For a player like that, when he takes off his helmet, (he must) put on a face mask immediately, maintain as much social distance as possible when not on the field of play, use a container to hydrate himself, be it water, Gatorade, whatever. In other words, take care of every little detail, “he said.

“To anyone who is at risk, I would recommend being jealous, religious and frankly, committing yourself almost maniacally to minimize the possibility of spreading the virus,” he added.