Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- NFL teams are adding a new piece of equipment to their bags during training camp this season. The Tennessee Titans debuted the ‘Guardian cap’ this week and while it’s getting mixed reviews from players, it could help them play longer.
The Guardian cap is a padded shell that is placed on top of a helmet and it’s a part of the league’s latest initiative to try to protect players’ heads.
These caps aren’t anything new, they have actually been used for awhile at the high school level and some college teams also use them for practices. They have been tested and results show that these caps reduce the impact of hits up to 33%.
Head coach Mike Vrabel said that they have seen all the data presented to them by Biocore, the engineers, doctors and the NFLPA and this is something that can help.
“Collectively we all thought this was the right thing to do, making it mandatory between all 32 teams,” said Vrabel. “I think part of the competition committee’s role is to make game as great and safe as they possibly can.”
And it is linemen, tight ends and linebackers who you’ll see wearing these padded caps during training camp this year. It might not make a fashion statement, but linebacker David Long Jr. knows it could help extend his years playing.
“I mean it’s just ugly, but it’s cool, I’m just getting used to it. Anything that can help us play longer in the game, I’m up for,” said Long Jr.
Titans second year linebacker Rashad Weaver didn’t really notice any difference in the weight of the cap and while it takes a minute to adjust to the look, he’s all about advancing player safety.
“I think I’m smart, so if it is going to help protect my brain I’m all for it,” said Weaver. “I try not to think about it because it is the game I love but it is always going to be in the back of my mind.”