Guardian Caps leave some NFL players and coaches with concerns: ‘You feel like a bobblehead’ – Sporting News - STRATEGIES TO EARN MONEY



Guardian Caps leave some NFL players and coaches with concerns: ‘You feel like a bobblehead’ – Sporting News

Some NFL players have been working with new accessories during the spring and summer. During minicamp, the league implemented the use of the “Guardian Cap,” a soft-shell cushion that rests on top of players’ helmets.

The caps returned for the start of training camp and will remain part of the wardrobe for offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers until the second game of the preseason.

The waffle-shaped layer of protection diminishes the impact of head collisions by about 10 percent, according to ESPN.

That hasn’t made it easier for NFL personnel to adapt to the change, though. As the first week of training camp draws to a close, there are mixed reactions to the league’s latest innovation.

MORE: NFL training camp 2022 dates, schedules, locations for all 32 teams

Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt said he felt his balance was compromised while wearing the bulky frame over the top of his helmet.

“You feel like a bobblehead,” Watt said. “Like you’re going to fall over. I’ll probably get fined for this. This is great. You guys are just screwing me to start out the whole year. There’s 15 grand gone.”

Watt said he understood the league’s process with regard to reducing head injuries, but he also said that it will take time to get used to the unusual piece of equipment.

“We got a couple guys that might need to wear them just, like, walking around,” Watt said.

Watt was far more complimentary of the headgear than Eagles center Jason Kelce.

Kelce was blunt in his assessment by adding bubble wrap to his cap.

Seahawks tight end Noah Fant gave his two cents. He’s not much of a fan, either.

“It’s not heavy, it’s foam, honestly, so it doesn’t really make too much of a difference of weight, but it’s there, that’s the only way to describe it,” Fant said, per Pro Football Talk. “It’s just one of those things that’s a little bit of an inconvenience but we’re going to roll with it. I know in the game I won’t have to wear it, so we’ll make it work.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh also has concerns. He argued that the intent of the NFL’s latest measure is noble, but he feels the use of the helmet add-on could lead to a false sense of security, potentially prompting players to use their helmets more during games.

“I do think because of the soft blow, it’s kind of lending the players to use their heads a little bit more,” Saleh said, according to ESPN. “I do think the first time when they take it off — anybody who has played football knows the first time you take your helmet off or you hit with the helmet or you have a collision, there’s a shock. I do think that if you’re waiting until the first game for that shock to happen . . . I don’t know, time will tell.”

“I am [concerned] because I think there’s an acclimation period that is needed for actual pads for what they are actually going to use in the game,” Saleh added. “So, if you’re waiting until the game to actually feel that, I think it’s just going to be interesting to see what type of feedback we get from players.”

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