Reducing concussions is the NFL’s white whale. Will the league have to continue changing the rules to make the game safer, or will a new helmet do the trick?
One thing’s for certain — the new helmet will at least let teams know when a player has sustained the amount of force necessary to knock a human brain against the inside of its skull-casing. (That’s supposed to sound optimistic.)
— Jason B. Hirschhorn (@jbhirschhorn) July 27, 2014
Last night, Eddie Lacy wore the new Riddell Speed Flex, which has a built-in shock absorber on the crown of the helmet. And as awesome as the stainless steel face-mask and snowboard binding-chinstrap look, the coolest part of this thing is that it’s covered in sensors that relay information about its user’s head trauma, in real-time. Seriously, someone on the sideline has a turn-of-the-century handheld video game system that shows when, where, and how hard the helmet has been impacted.
That data may have revealed Lacy — who ran for 32 yards on 12 carries — sustained enough repeated impact to merit a concussion diagnosis (or at least an investigation into whether he was, in fact, concussed). We’ll repeat that. Lacy wears new helmet designed to prevent concussions, gets concussion. Two things can be gleaned from this news: Either A) The new helmet doesn’t work, or B) The sensors in the helmet highlight that most NFL running backs sustain an unhealthy amount of cranial impact during the course of football game.
Or the Seahawks are just super badass.
Photo via Getty