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Report: NFL Looking to Add Surgical Facemasks for Helmets in 2020

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If the NFL can accomplish this, Aaron Rodgers may have a more difficult time getting his opponents to jump offside with his well vocalized hard count. That’s because the NFL is reportedly testing helmets that include face masks with surgical or N95 material. The NFL is working to figure out how to best hold the season amid this pandemic. The league has said that it plans to start the season on time in September, though it will likely have to do so without fans in attendance. Plenty of other precautions, like the possibility of N95 masks, are sure to be implemented as well.

The NFL Players Association medical director, Thom Mayer, has recommended that players wear modified facemasks in the upcoming season to help protect themselves. He also stated that league engineers are currently testing prototypes with Oakley, Inc.

On Monday, Mayer appeared on The Adam Schefter Podcast and spoke about what he believes will occur this upcoming season regarding player safety. He told Schefter that “They’ve got some prototypes. They’re doing really good work. Some of them, when you first look at them, you think, ‘Gosh, no’ ’cause you’re not used to seeing it. You’re just not used to seeing it. But they’re looking at every issue you can imagine, including when it fogs up. What do we do with that? But these guys are used to dealing with this stuff.”

Mayer also had suggestions for player safety once the season begins, including protocols that he would like implemented during games and practices. “Getting the helmet off, putting a mask on right afterward, maintaining social distancing when not in the field as much as possible, using single-use hydration — whether water, Gatorade, whatever it might be — I mean, just every little detail,” he said. “Anybody who’s got a risk, I would advise them to be zealous, religious, and, frankly, almost maniacally committed to minimizing the chance of spreading the virus.”

While a modified facemask wouldn’t protect players 100% from contracting the virus, it could certainly help, especially if the NFL and its helmet partners can work out any issues that might cause the modified helmets to hinder the players’ ability to perform on the field.




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