NFL, NFLPA helmet testing leads to 31 models recommended for use by players


The yearly testing process of helmets for use between the NFL and NFL Players’ Association has led to a total of 34 approved models with 31 separate models recommended for use across four separate manufacturers.

Riddell, Schutt, VICIS and Xenith each had models among the highly recommended group of helmets available for player use for the 2020 season. Riddell’s Speedflex Precision Diamond, Speedflex Precision and Speedflex Diamond were the three highest rated models in testing. The testing process seeks to find the best helmets at reducing head impact severity.

Per the news release, over 99 percent of players had chosen helmets among the top-rated performers by the end of last season. That’s an increase from 41 percent at the end of the 2017 season.

“It is significant progress within two years to have such widespread adoption of top-performing helmets by our players,” said Jeff Miller, Executive Vice President of Health and Safety Innovation. “That is a testament to the power of collaboration with the NFLPA, with club equipment managers and a credit to the players themselves for making this change happen. And it’s not just the players’ choices that are evolving. We are continually improving the way we gather, analyze and deploy data to try to drive down injuries. This year’s helmet testing protocol is an important evolution based on what we have learned over years of gathering on-field data. The outcome is better information for players as they make their helmet choices and better information for helmet manufacturers as they continue to design for the future.”

The LIGHT LS1 Composite is the only new addition to the banned helmet list for 2020. It becomes the 13th prohibited helmet on the list, along with Antonio Brown’s preferred Schutt Air Advantage. Three additional models, the Schutt Vengeance Pro, Schutt Air XP Pro and Schutt Vengeance Z10, are allowed for use but not recommended following tests.