NFL, NFLPA prohibit use of 10 helmet models after lab testing

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees prepares for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Jan. 28 in Orlando Fla. Aaron Doster  USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees prepares for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Jan. 28 in Orlando Fla. Aaron Doster USA TODAY Sports

The results of a study released by the NFL and NFL Players Association on Monday found that almost one-third of the helmets tested by an independent laboratory were deemed unfit for use.

The 2018 version of Vicis' ZERO1 helmet ranked No. 1. In fact, the 2017 model actually finished second in the rankings. Vicis ranked No. 1 previous year, too, in the same test. The league added that the "top performing group" on the list, which includes 15 other helmets from Schutt, Xenith, and Riddell, "consists of helmets whose performance was not statistically different from the two top-ranked helmets".

Of the 10 prohibited helmets, six will be prohibited immediately while the other four will be allowed for players who wore them in 2017, but not for anyone new. Previously, players were able to choose any helmet that was certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).

'The prohibited helmets perform poorly in laboratory testing, have been discontinued by the manufacturer, or were produced by companies no longer manufacturing football helmets, ' read the release.

The NFL/NFLPA noted in the press release that "results of this study should not be extrapolated to collegiate, high school or youth football".

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The announcement comes amid a push by the sport's leaders to reduce the number of concussions suffered by players after data showed an increase last season in concussions. The kickoff is under heavy scrutiny after it was determined to cause concussions at five times the rate of an average play, and plans are underway to work with teams to address a spike in concussions caused during training camp scrimmages.

The Vicis helmet features a unique outer shell material and flexible interior columns created to mitigate the forces thought to cause concussions.

"The goal of the continuation to rank helmets and the joint decision with the players' association to prohibit is to increase that movement into better performing helmets".

That will need to change if the Patriots quarterback plans on playing past the 2018 season.

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