NFL bans six low-performing helmets as league attempts to battle ongoing concussion problem – Washington Post

Washington Redskins helmets sit on the field. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

The NFL, with the cooperation of the NFL Players Association, has prohibited players from wearing 10 models of helmets that performed poorly in laboratory testing of impact absorption, the league said.

“This is the first time we will be prohibiting helmets,” Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of health and safety, said in a conference call with reporters. “It’s an important step for player safety.”

The ban will affect more than 200 players who wore helmet models that are now prohibited, according to the league.

Players previously were permitted to wear any helmet model of their choosing certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.

“The prohibited helmets perform poorly in laboratory testing, have been discontinued by the manufacturer, or were produced by companies no longer manufacturing football helmets,” the league and union said in a joint written statement.

One manufacturer of several models on the list of prohibited helmets, Rawlings, no longer manufactures football helmets. Other manufacturers have advised players to use newer models of helmets that perform better in testing, according to the league.

Helmet models were evaluated and ranked based on 24 lab tests, according to the NFL and NFLPA.

“The goal of the study, as in prior years, was to determine which helmets best reduced head impact severity under laboratory conditions simulating concussion-causing impacts sustained by NFL players during games,” the statement by the league and union said.

Six of the helmet models will be banned immediately, the NFL and NFLPA said, while the other four can be worn this coming season only

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