Over the past few years, there has been a significant focus on concussions in the National Football League, specifically how to prevent them. It looks like the league is now moving towards a new solution on that front, with a new helmet design reportedly coming on line very soon.
A Seattle-based company called Vicis has developed what they describe as a “soft helmet” that could provide significantly more protection for NFL players. The league recently released the results of a study involving 33 different helmets, and the Vicis helmets came out on top.
What makes them different? Here’s how Inc Magazine describes it:
The Zero1 has a soft outer shell and a core layer consisting of a series of bendable columns. These "crumple zones," inspired by and named after the parts of a car meant to crush on impact to reduce the force of a crash, allow it to absorb some of the energy of a collision.
If you look at the video embedded above, you can see exactly what the helmet does on impact. It appears that the helmet itself sort of “squishes” to absorb the impact of a blow to the head, much different from what the current helmets do.
The article from Inc Magazine states that 25 of the 32 NFL teams have purchased stockpiles of the new Vicis helmets to distribute to their players during spring practices and team activities. They don’t indicate which teams those are, so we don’t know at this point if the Minnesota Vikings are among them or not. They say that numerous college teams have also purchasing the helmets, with players from Auburn, Mississippi, and Ohio State having been seen wearing the helmets in practices this spring.
With players in the National Football League continuing to get bigger, stronger, and faster, protection the heads of those players will be something that the National Football League must continue to make progress on. Hopefully this new helmet from the folks at Vicis will be the standard sooner rather than later and make concussions less of a concern for the men who play the sport we all love to watch so much.