The NFL and NFLPA performed a study on 34 different helmets used in the NFL and placed a ban on 10 different helmets starting in 2018. A wrinkle in the new rule, though states that if players, about 200, used one of the now banned helmets last year they will continue to be able to use the same helmet for the 2018 season, before being forced to switch in 2019. If said helmets are truly that detrimental to player health, why not make the ban effective immediately, given that players have an entire off-season to adjust to an NFL approved helmet. With that said both the NFL and NFLPA expect many of the 200 players to voluntarily make a switch immediately per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Helmet manufactures on this list are either no longer producing NFL helmets or have made models that now meet NFL standards (Riddell and Schutt). Six of the manufacturers’ helmets that are no longer being produced will be banned immediately, while the other four will be still be able to be worn by NFL players who used them in the 2017 season.
As the NFL continues to focus on player safety, the game (including the gear) will continue to evolve. Football is a violent sport that will always have an untamed element to it that will unfortunately produce career ending injuries. As players get bigger and faster this point will only continue to be magnified by highlight reels of hard hits and blows. All the while adding meaningful changes to player equipment, like helmets, will hopefully help curb career ending injuries to some of our most favorite players.